Girls dominate the top spots at ‘Matrix Challenge 2018’

Posted — 19.09.2018

Cyber Security Challenge UK delivered the Matrix Challenge 2018 live final in partnership with Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime unit and Grillatech Ltd. It was the part of the region’s first Cyber Prevent initiative to help children and young people use technology safely and legally.

The programme has been supported in its work through West Yorkshire Police’s Proceeds of Crime Funds which uses money seized from criminals within West Yorkshire to benefit the local community.

The final of the initiative took place on Saturday 18 August in Leeds and involved a series of interactive cyber challenges provided by BAE, Cyber Centurion, Exa Foundation, BT, Bob’s Business and Krash Labs. There were 42 young people as finalists, along with activities for their parents and teachers who were also there on the day.

Earlier this year, over 7500 children and young people visited the website (www.matrix-challenge.uk) with over 2700 completing the game and answered the Cyber Questions, from which the finalists were chosen. There was also a week-long schools roadshow up in West Yorkshire to promote the competition.

A careers day specifically aimed at cyber security will follow in the new year, and plans are being worked on to deliver a similar, expanded programme next year.

Detective Sergeant Shelton Newsham, the Regional Prevent and Protect Lead at the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit, said:

“The skills and abilities of the finalists was incredible. Some our finalists had not previously been given the opportunity to fully understand how valuable their skills are.

“We helped them to showcase their talents, showed pathways for their further education and employment possibilities.”

“We were privileged to have Ben Towers as our keynote speaker. Ben gave all the finalists a great insight into his successful career.”

“We also gave parents the confidence to understand and support their children’s use of technology and further career development.

The feedback from them has been exceptional.”

Cyber Prevent was at the forefront of this project, raising awareness of: –

·       How to use technology safely and legally (educate on the Computer Misuse Act 1990)

·       Computer related education and employment opportunities (using cyber skills for good)

·       Disrupt and deter cybercrime offending or reoffending

·       Promote the protection and safeguarding of children and young adults online (signpost to existing content/organisations)

·       Educate parents and guardians on the advances on technology and how to support their children

A spokesperson from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “This was an innovative competition which captured the imagination of young people across the region.

“Prevention plays such an important role in tackling cybercrime and it’s crucial that these messages are presented in an engaging way.

“There was some exceptional talent and skill on display in the competition and we are hopeful that some of the young people involved will go on to be key players in the fight against cybercrime in the future.”

There were some excellent prizes with winners separated into two age groups, 11-14 and 15-17, with girls winning the top prizes in each group, each taking away a brand-new laptop. The 2nd place runners up earned a Samsung Galaxy Tablet each, whilst those in 3rd place got a drone kit and/or a Fuze Computer. There were Judge’s prizes too, with Amazon Gift Vouchers being awarded. Everybody walked away with a goody bag and a smile on their face!

Quote from a parent –

“I attended your event today with my son. We both wanted to thank you for a truly fantastic day from start to finish. My son loved all the challenges and I learnt so much as well.

Please can you pass our thanks to everyone involved and we hope to take part next year!”

Activity Deliverers

  • BAE Leeds
  • Cyber Centurion
  • Exa Foundation
  • Krash Labs
  • Bob’s Business
  • BT