Date published: 29 January 2020
Year 8 Whitworth Community High School girls tackle the GCHQ cyber challenge
Computer savvy Year 8 girls are taking part in a national competition to promote cyber security careers.
GCHQ, the Government Security Headquarters, is running a national cyber security competition – CyberFirst Girls – and 13 Whitworth Community High School students are taking part.
They had four days to try to complete a number of tricky questions in different categories – networking, logic and coding, cyber security and cryptography.
Each category had three different levels of difficulty: beginners, intermediate and advanced. The students had to carry out their own research to be able to find the answers.
Jess Jevons, 12, and Lucy Hanson, 13, were two of the students who took part.
Jess said: “Some of the questions were easy and some were really hard and although you could get hints they sometimes didn’t help and they would deduct points if you used them.”
Lucy is interested in an engineering career and so enjoyed the coding aspect of the competition.
A lot of the questions involved problem solving and research.
Currently only 11 per cent of the global cyber workforce is female, which is why the competition was introduced.
More than 1,500 schools take part and the top 10 teams will compete face-to-face with the chance of winning £1,000 for school computer equipment as well as individual prizes.