Cybersecurity Awareness for Young Minds: UWE Bristol Annual Cybersecurity Unlock Day for Schools


By Jonathan White, lecturer in cybersecurity

Last month, UWE Bristol was proud to host the annual Unlock Cyber ​​Taster Day. Taking place in the School of Engineering building on the Frenchay campus, the day brought together around 350 students aged 12 to 14 from schools in the region.

The event was organized by Unlock Cyber, an employer-led initiative created by UWE Bristol to create a community of young cybersecurity enthusiasts with the skills needed to pursue a career in the sector. 12 industry partners come together for the day to provide a wide range of cybersecurity-related activities for students to participate in. This year, UWECyber ​​introduced a new event using Lego fairgrounds and Raspberry Pis to simulate attacks and mitigations against cyber-physical systems.

Unlock Cyber ​​introductory day

The importance of cybersecurity awareness initiatives such as Unlock Cyber ​​Taster Day is manifold:

  • Raise awareness about risks and importance of cybersecurity: Students can gain knowledge about various cyber threats, online security practices, and the importance of protecting their digital lives.
  • Develop interest and curiosity: By participating in hands-on activities, demonstrations, and workshops, students can develop a genuine interest in the field, which could inspire them to pursue a career in cybersecurity or related fields.
  • Skills development: By providing interactive sessions where children can learn practical skills such as coding, ethical hacking or data protection, they are introduced to fundamental concepts and tools used in the industry, thus being better able to protect themselves and others against cyber threats.
  • Foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Events often require analytical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Participating in these activities can improve these abilities, which can help students in a wide variety of aspects of life, not just cybersecurity.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion: As in many STEM fields, cybersecurity has traditionally been male-dominated. Inspiring children, especially women and underrepresented groups, can help break down barriers and encourage diversity in the industry. By showcasing role models of success and creating inclusive environments, these events can inspire children from all backgrounds to pursue careers in cybersecurity.

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