Harrow Way Year 10 students were given an insight into the role STEM plays in defence with a Cyber Challenge Day at the British Army’s Blandford camp. Competing against a number of other schools, the team of eight won the challenge as they pitted their wits to solve numerous tasks in a fully immersive, AI (artificial intelligence) powered, multi-player online security training and assessment platform.

Commenting on the value of attending the awareness and engagement event Donna Robertson, Curriculum Leader of IT, Computing and Business Studies said: “It is important for students to appreciate the scale of opportunity there is available to them should they choose to consider a career in one of the STEM industries. This hands-on experience has opened their eyes on a number of levels – opportunities within the Army, within engineering and within cybersecurity. It’s been a brilliant interactive day and it was great to see our students working as a cohesive team, sharing their skill base which saw them come out as overall winners.”

The cybersecurity training platform used for the challenge mirrors actual networks and uses real-time threat intelligence, machine learning and gamification to educate and prepare cybersecurity teams for protecting against ever-evolving cyberattacks. Each team was hosted by an Army mentor as they worked their way through a number of interactive experiences which brought STEM to life while also demonstrating its importance across a breadth of roles within defence and in the Army. Technical advice and support for each team was provided by the Royal Signals Cyber Protection Team.

Mrs Robertson concludes: “Our thanks to the team at Blandford for organising such an engaging and informative session which they cleverly designed to complement the work we do in the classrooms at school.”