UK Cyber Explorers Cup Launched by Government

Schools throughout the UK are encouraging young students to test their knowledge of cyber security and protect Cyber City from the villainous Herbert the Hacker. These students have the chance to be crowned the champions of the Cyber Explorers programme competition. Launched in February 2022, the Cyber Explorers programme has already reached over 50,000 students aged 11 to 14 in more than 2,500 schools. The programme offers a free learning platform that introduces key concepts of cyber security to Key Stage 3 pupils, including digital forensics, encryption, secure communications, network security, and the Computer Misuse Act. The Cyber Explorers Cup will require teams to complete a series of missions in the popular Capture The Flag format, commonly enjoyed by ethical hackers and red teams. The winning schools, one from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales each, will receive tech-related prizes such as vouchers for new IT equipment, class trips, opportunities for deeper learning, and branded learning materials. Michelle Donelan, the science and technology secretary, expressed the importance of inspiring future generations to pursue careers in cyber security as technology advances rapidly. TV presenter and educator Baasit Siddiqui, a supporter of Cyber Explorers, emphasized the significance of preparing the next generation of cyber professionals and promoting digital literacy, resilience, and creativity in the digital space. Participating schools can form teams of up to four students, ideally including one student from each eligible year group. To participate, students must have completed at least 65% of the content from the existing Cyber Explorers programme and completed challenges such as “Save the City” with at least one character. It is recommended that at least one competing student has completed all missions in the regular programme. The competition will take place in March 2024, and teachers and home educators can find more information and apply on behalf of their students.

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