Based on the success of last year’s Cyber Discovery programme, it’s clear there’s both the appetite and the aptitude to learn about cyber security in the UK. Before taking part in Cyber Discovery 40.4% of female students and 35.5% of male students hadn’t even considered a career in cyber security. This dropped to 9.6% and 6.3% respectively after these students took part in the programme. And many of the club leaders who are also Computer Science teachers, told us they used Cyber Discovery last year to complement their lesson plans. We hope to extend this enthusiasm and passion for cyber security across the the UK in year two. We need to inspire young people and show them a career in Cyber Security can be exciting and rewarding, not only to give them more opportunities but also help build a talented workforce for the future. The Cyber Discovery programme has been a great success so far. I hope more teenagers will take part and learn that those working in cyber security can come from any walk of life, and have studied any subject. An online programme designed to inspire teenagers to think about a career in cyber security will continue for a second year after a successful pilot across England.Over 23,000 young people aged between 14 and 18 have already taken part in the Cyber Discovery programme which uses interactive games to teach teenagers about cyber security in an accessible and fun way. Those who perform at the highest levels, will also have the opportunity to attend a special summer camp to hone their skills and meet industry leaders.The scheme sits within Cyber First, the government’s cyber security skills programme, which is part of the £1.9 billion investment through the National Cyber Security Strategy to transform the UK’s cyber security and ensure we build skills in the workforce of the future.Minister for Digital Margot James said: The National Cyber Security Strategy commits to developing and implementing ‘a self-standing skills strategy that builds on existing work to integrate cyber security into the education system. This will continue to improve the state of computer science teaching overall and embed cybersecurity into the curriculum. Everyone studying computer science, technology or digital skills will learn the fundamentals of cyber security and will be able to bring those skills into the workforce. As part of this effort, we will address the gender imbalance in cyber-focused professions, and reach people from more diverse backgrounds, to make sure we are drawing from the widest available talent pool. Any young person between the ages of 14 to 18 can take part. Registration and completion of the first assessment phase closes on 7 January 2019. Find out more on the Cyber Discovery website.Further Information: The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK has a sustainable pipeline of cyber security talent supporting a workforce that meets current and future cyber security demands and supports the UK’s prosperity by keeping the economy and the country safe from cyber threats. The £20 million Cyber Discovery programme teaches students about subjects including digital forensics, defending against web attacks and cryptography. It is being delivered by IT security training company the SANS Institute.The programme is also a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy – a long term plan to ensure that businesses have the skilled workers they need here in Britain.Head of Research and Development for SANS Institute James Lyne said: SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and educationorganisation and is now the largest provider of cyber security training and certification topractitioners at governments and commercial institutions worldwide. The SANS curriculumspans more than 60 courses across multiple cyber security disciplines. SANS hassuccessfully run programmes for school age students and is passionate about encouragingyoung people to pursue a career in cyber security.
With the college football and National Football League seasons well underway, Notre Dame students have been anticipating the kickoff of one more season: flag football, which officially began on Sunday.A decades-old tradition at Notre Dame dating back to 1975, flag football has become an integral part of the fall semester for many students. Assistant director of intramural sports Arianne Judy said this is partly due to the inclusive nature of the sport. Observer File Photo A student representing Welsh Family Hall evades a defender from Pangborn Hall during a women’s interhall flag football championship in Notre Dame Stadium in Nov. 2014.“Flag football is kind of … a sport that skill and previous knowledge … play a part in people being successful or wanting to participate, but … you don’t have to have that knowledge and/or experience and you can still participate in it,” Judy said. “Typically, if you think of gender norms or stereotypical kids growing up, a lot of women don’t get the opportunity to play [football]. And so that’s what makes our interhall league so popular and so much fun.”Sophomore Meg Wagner, co-captian of the Pasquerilla West Hall B team, echoed Judy and said she was happy to be able to pick up the sport so easily without any prior experience.“I was a cheerleader so I never played … [anything] that involved catching a ball or doing anything like that. So last year when I came out I was really nervous,” Wagner said. “It comes really easily. I thought for sure I would just be riding the bench, but I played and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. It’s definitely fun and easy to pick up.”Popularity for the women’s interhall flag football league, with 14 women’s halls represented in the A league and seven with additional teams in the B league this year, also stems from its affiliation with community, Judy said.“There’s definitely that community base to it, and I think with that comes the accountability piece, too,” she said. “There’s that hall allegiance.”Wagner said she uses flag football as a way to meet more people in her hall who she wouldn’t necessarily cross paths with otherwise.“I’ve become closer with girls I wouldn’t have been friends with,” she said. “There’s a lot of freshmen and girls that aren’t in my section, so I get to know them just because I’m on their team and we play together and get to work at practice together.”Another attraction for the women’s interhall leagues is the championship games being held on the field in Notre Dame Stadium, Judy said, an honor originally reserved only for the men’s interhall tackle football games.“We are very fortunate to have the relationship that we have with athletics as far as being able to use that facility,” she said. “Here, it’s different just because of the rich tradition and the football history for the students to be able to play on the field. It is a big deal to play at Knute Rockne’s stadium.”Wagner said she and her team appreciate the significance of this unique opportunity.“It’s a very rare experience, obviously,” she said. “To be on the Notre Dame football field is not something that many kids get to do even when they go here, so being able to have pictures and to have that memory is really special just because Notre Dame football is such a big deal, so when you get older, being able to say that you were on the field and you actually got to play a game is very rare and special.”Judy said there are other factors that lead to participation in co-rec or all-campus men’s flag football teams, such as wanting to play a sport with friends that might be outside one’s hall.“In our co-rec leagues, it really is dependent that you reach out and get teams together with friends and people that are outside,” she said. “It’s more of an opportunity to get your friends together … [and] it brings in a mix of students.”Senior flag football official Timothy Zdunek said he was excited to discover how many students participated in flag football in one way or another.“I knew that interhall tackle football was big for the guys’ dorms, but I didn’t realize how big it could be for, obviously, the women’s dorms and then co-rec and all-campus guys leagues,” Zdunek said. “I was rather surprised to see how so many students competed in flag football here. It was really great to see.”Judy said each flag football league plays by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) rules, which have been adjusted over the years to create a more unique environment for the sport.“Originally, I think that they tried to have a large affiliation with high school rules for tackle football — obviously modified to make flag football a non-contact sport,” she said. “I think that, over time, they really have focused on creating rules that are more in line with creating the atmosphere that they want.”These rules are enforced by student officials, creating an additional entry point for students who want to be involved with flag football in some way. Zdunek said he became a flag football official to become involved with football on campus, even though he doesn’t play.“It just looked really cool as a way to get close to the action and everything without playing because I know I’m not exactly the greatest athlete in the world,” he said. “This was a way for me to really stay involved in that kind of stuff.”For Wagner, the women’s interhall B league serves as a good way for students who live in dorms where flag football is too popular for just one team to get involved.“It’s really nice just because I don’t think I’m skilled enough to be on A team, [and] it’s a lot less pressure,” Wagner said. “So obviously, the girls that are competitive and want to have a competitive nature go up on A team and that’s for them, but B team is a lot more relaxed and low-pressure. And we have a lot more fun, I think.”Tags: co-rec sports, flag football, Interhall, Interhall Football, NIRSA, RecSports