Allstate NI Sponsors National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls’ Competition

  • Registration opens for National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls’ Competition on 2 December and is open to all Year 9 girls in Northern Ireland. 

    Set up by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the competition is an annual UK-wide initiative to introduce young female-identifying students to the world of cyber security – and the skills that could start a career. 

    It is a free, nationwide contest open to girls in Year 8 in England and Wales, Year 9 in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland.

    Through rounds of puzzles and challenges, the girls form teams of up to four to take on challenges that train them in the skills they need to defend the digital world. They won't need to know anything about IT yet as Allstate say they’ll learn it all along the way.

    Allstate Northern Ireland is "delighted" to be the official sponsor and host of the semi-final round in Northern Ireland. Each year the NCSC aims to improve user experience. This year, to encourage and recognise participation from all parts of the UK, the NCSC have extended the online qualifier round to 10 days and introduced a semi-final round. 

    As well as prizes for all grand-finalists and money towards computing equipment for the winning school, they’ll pick up the skills for a valuable career in cyber security.

    “This competition is a lot of fun; very exciting. The girls get so much out of it. And it’s very little teacher effort – so it’s a win on all sides," said Caroline, a CyberFirst 2019 team teacher from Armagh.

    What you need to know

    • Teams are made up of up to four female students in Year 8, S2 or Year 9 (NI).
    • Teams need to be supported by a responsible adult appointed by the school who is aged over 18 years and who can act as the team guardian.
    • Team guardians do not need to have any cyber knowledge or be an IT or computer science teacher. Their role is to register the teams and facilitate access to the competition.
    • Schools can enter as many teams as they like if they fit the qualifying criteria.
    • The semi-final round will be self-funded by the school.
    • The Grand Final will be fully funded by the NCSC.

    Key dates for your diary

    • 2 December 2019 - Registration opens
    • 13 to 22 January 2020 - Qualifier round
    • 8 February 2020 - semi-final day (hosted at Allstate NI in Northern Ireland) 
    • 15/16 March 2020 - Grand Final

    CyberFirst Girls is part of the larger CyberFirst programme aimed at encouraging more young people between 11-17 into cyber security.

    Find out more here:

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