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From Scratch to Cyber Security: Code Club’s Journey to the National Finals

Ahead of Code Club’s trip to the CyberCenturion National Finals, the charity has published a series of Meet the Team articles explaining the local element of the competition and introducing the three Manx teams. Collectively, the three Isle of Man finalist teams make up 20% of the overall finalists! This follow-on article from Adam Drummond, one of Code Club’s CyberCenturion Team Leaders, and Trip Leader for the Finals trip, will cover more about Code Club, what they do and will explore the ins and outs of next week’s trip!

About The Author

Adam Drummond has been a member of Code Club pretty much since its inception, and a volunteer for only a few years less. He currently manages the club’s assets, as well as leading the CyberCenturion Teams to success at the National Finals.

Outside of Code Club, Adam is also involved with two other local Manx charities: Love Tech and the British Computer Society (IOM). He enjoys developing applications and websites which he has done in the past both for Code Club and through his studies at UCM, where he is studying a Computer Science bachelor’s degree with Honors.

The Upcoming CyberCenturion Trip to the National Finals

In just seven short days, a group of Manx students and volunteers from Code Club will be jetting off to North England for the CyberCenturion National Finals in York.

The trip has been months in the making following the third qualifying round in December, of which seven of Code Club’s teams competed, including CyberAces, I Am Root and Cyber Dragons their three finalist teams. Not long after the completion of the round, they received notification that the three teams had received fantastic scores and had come top in their categories:

“They were off to the finals!”

In the four months since, Adam has supported the club by meticulously planning out the trip, jam-packed to-the-minute to ensure that the teams maximise their time away. Day One will see the group fly over to Manchester and get settled in. They’ll have time to relax with their teammates and discuss strategies to use for the final. On Day Two, the teams will explore Manchester, including a visit to the Science and Industry Museum, where they can learn about the development of technologies we use to this day and explore 250 years of innovations and ideas that went on to change the world.

Day Two also sees the arrival of the teams in York, where they will be based on the University of York’s ground, as the competition is held on site! This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to visit new places, especially for our students who are coming up to choosing their onward paths from A Levels. The competition takes up most of Day Three, with a return to Manchester in the evening. The finals, which will host fifteen teams from across the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, will deliver an inspirational and educational experience for all the times, which provides:

  • Practical learning about cyber in the real world,
  • Development of technical and employability skills that are useful in any industry and
  • Motivation to pursue cyber and STEM subjects and careers.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to visit new places”

At the finals, all the teams come together in one room to push the final stretch. The day begins with an introduction from Stem Learning and Northrop Grumman (the organisers and sponsors), and then an introduction to the competition from the American Air Force. The teams will have two competition ‘sessions’ where they will battle it out on the cyber frontier to attain the highest score in this prestigious fourth round. Between the sessions, the teams will be treated to lunch and a talk from an exciting guest speaker and free time to explore the university’s campus.

Day Four hosts the trip’s conclusion – and hopefully a victory flight back to the Island!

Code Club would love to extend their thanks and gratitude to Digital Isle of Man, who have sponsored the three teams’ participation in the National Finals once again. Without their support, as well as the support of Code Club’s volunteers and all the teams’ families, this trip would not have been possible.

If you or your business would like to explore future sponsorship options, you can contact the club at sponsorship@codeclub.im or visit them at Barclays Eagle Lab on Saturdays from 4-6pm.

More About Code Club

Code Club is a Manx educational charity (number 1322) focussed on empowering individuals in the technological space. They aim to provide a focal point for people of all ages to develop digital skills, share their knowledge and experience, and to teach others how to leverage the technology that surrounds them.

Every week for the past nine years or so, Code Club has hosted sessions to provide a welcoming space for students to learn and share their knowledge of STEM topics, such as through coding or practical work. The club offers a variety of activities from coding (it’s in the name) and robotics to 3D printing and electronics, with new technologies being tried out week-on-week!

Code Club’s original golden goose was their coding courses, which is often the gateway and entry point to the club’s vast array of activities. Across their nine years, the club has hosted a plethora of courses from a variety of volunteers. Whilst the list is not exhaustive, the club has enjoyed a variety of courses, such as JavaScript, C#, Unity (a well-requested favourite), Python, and of course Scratch – everyone’s favourite beginner language!

Another fan-favourite, and one which anyone will find impressive, is the club’s collection of 3D Printers. Throughout their years of operation, the club has amassed a wide range of printers, leading to their current cohort of five printers. Many of Code Club’s members enjoy printing all sorts of random trinkets on the printers, such as battery holders or even parts for electronic devices. The club also has an array of different pathways into electronics, such as soldering, using kits to make projects such as solar-powered jam jar LED projects.

Finally, the club has just recently started to take part in a new competition: the World Robotics Olympiad (WRO). This is where teams of 2-3 budding builders and programmers can put together a robot to complete a series of challenges. The club is hoping that this will be a fantastic contest for the island, giving members more options than just CyberCenturion. There are already an array of teams preparing for the 2023 season of the WRO.

For more information about the club, or to join in the action, get in touch with the volunteers at hello@codeclub.im or pop into any of their Saturday sessions from 4-6pm at the Barclays Eagle Lab! Anyone is welcome to the club, especially those who have something that they can share with others.

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