Manx teams succeed in first round of national CyberSecurity competition
Last weekend, Code Club hosted the first round of CyberCenturion IX for seven teams of Manx students. Every year, there are three rounds consisting of virtual computers containing cyber challenges for the teams to solve. Teams consist of four students in either the junior (under 14) or senior (under 18) division, as one of four categories: all boys, all girls, mixed or cadets.
CyberCenturion is a national cyber education initiative for 12–18-year-olds, designed to excite, educate, and motivate students to pursue further education and careers in STEM and cybersecurity.
This year marks Code Club’s eighth year participating in this competition. Across the years, the club has supported various teams; alongside the usual mixed and all boys teams, this year the club has fielded its first ever all girls team. Some of the teams have prior experience, having competed before and some even having made it to the National Finals, such as ‘CyberAces’, whilst others were all competing for the first time in this competition, such as ‘The Cubes’.
This round, Code Club enjoyed numerous successful leaderboard positions. All teams excelled, with some highlights such as ‘CyberAces’, a senior boys team, completing the challenge in just over an hour and placing first overall; they were closely followed by ‘I Am Root’, a junior boys team, placing third overall. The club’s all-girls team, ‘Cyber Dragons’, wasn’t far behind, in ninth position.
Adam Drummond, team leader at Code Club, said “Looking at how this round panned out, I am sure that we will see great successes further down the line. With three teams hitting top scores in this round, including a junior team and an all-girls team, I truly cannot wait to see what scores the teams get from Round 2 in November and Round 3 in December.”
“The enthusiasm of the competitors was really great to see,” he explained. “Despite being the first time competing for nearly half of the students, not one gave up during the day. All the competitors made it to the finish, whether that was 5pm or a score of 200 points.”
Whilst registration for this academic year’s competition is closed, Code Club is always encouraging new students to come forward and compete in following years. This year, the club is hosting a total of twenty-six students across seven teams, with four senior and three junior teams.
“I’m delighted that we’re had such a great result,” added Owen Cutajar, chair and trustee of Code Club. “We aim is to improve all facets of digital literacy across the Isle of Man and cyber security is a growth area, both in terms of importance to our daily lives, as well as potential careers. It’s really exciting to see teenagers grapple with technical challenges that would leave many an adult flummoxed and we’re glad we can provide them with this opportunity.”
The club runs weekly sessions, focussed on not only cybersecurity, but across a range of STEM topics. For more information about CyberCenturion, or indeed any of the programmes Code Club runs, contact email@example.com, visit their Facebook page (Isle of Man Code Club) or drop-in to any Saturday session from 4-6pm at Barclays Eagle Lab in Douglas.
CyberCenturion is a cyber defence competition. It was established by the Air Force Association. The Northrop Grumman Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for CyberCenturion.