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Date published: 05 March 2020


Three students from Whitworth Community High School got to pit their skills against other schools in the semi-final of a national competition held at PricewaterhouseCoopers office in Leeds.

Grace Campbell-Ousey, 12, Skye Wilkinson, 12, and Elizabeth Gack, 12, were selected for the second round of the The CyberFirst Girls Competition, set up by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre.

The competition is aimed at promoting the industry as a career option to girls to increase diversity in the workforce.

Skye said: “The top 12 girls were split into groups of three for the first part of the competition which we completed online.

“We had four categories, networking, logic and coding, cryptography and cyber security, and we had a series of tasks at beginner, intermediate and expert levels.

“There was a lot of pressure and we had four hours, with a break for lunch, in which to complete as many tasks as we could.”

Both Grace and Elizabeth said they enjoyed the networking tasks best, but Grace said the cryptography was hard. Although all the tasks offered hints, they resulted in points being deducted if they were used.

Skye said: “My favourite part was speaking to the people who were running the competition and I learnt a lot from what they had to say.”

The competition certainly inspired Skye and Grace because they have both signed up for a development day workshop at a university in June and they are looking at computing careers.





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