Pupils from south Wales are learning about cyber security on a one-day course designed by UK government security experts.
The hands-on activities at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics aim to inspire a new generation of cyber security professionals.
The 11 to 14-year-olds will learn about code cracking, web app development and digital forensics.
The CyberFirst Adventurers course, which takes place on Saturday 22 September, was put together by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
It is being run solely by Cardiff University computer science academics and students for the first time and is partially funded by the NCSC and the Institute of Coding.
Individuals, organisations and countries face an increasing threat from cyber criminals but there is a massive global skills shortage.
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth, said:
“CyberFirst Adventurers offers young people and their families the chance to see how studying computer science enhances their career prospects – especially in cyber security.
“Most young people have used internet-connected devices from a very early age and the NCSC is committed to helping them think about taking that existing knowledge to the next level.
“It’s great to see one of our newest Academic Centres of Excellence inspiring the next generation of cyber security experts in Wales.”
CyberFirst Adventurers is part of a UK government national cyber security programme developed by the NCSC.
Organisers hope it will inform GCSE options and encourage pupils to consider a career in cyber security.
Dr Yulia Cherdantseva, a lecturer from the University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics who is organising the event, said:
“The world is facing a significant shortage of skilled cyber security professionals and this shortage is expected to grow in the coming years.
“To address this issue we aim to inspire a younger audience in Wales about computer science and cyber security by showing them the diversity and attractiveness of this field.
“Getting this younger audience interested in computer science and cyber security will help to ensure a pipeline of young people through the STEM subjects at schools, computer science and cyber security degrees at universities, and into the cyber security profession.”
There are still limited spaces on the course. Parents/guardians can register here.
Cardiff University ran a Cyber Girls workshop last year designed to encourage more girls to take up careers in computing.
The University has also recently been recognised by the UK Government as the first Academic Centre of Excellence in cyber security research in Wales.
The School of Computer Science and Informatics teaches and carries out research in the cyber security field, offering programmes such as a BSc in Computer Science with Security and Forensics, and an MSc in Information Security and Privacy.