We believe it is important to bring cyber security awareness and education to schools so that we can help pupils to protect themselves and attract some of them to study cyber security or computing related subjects in the future. We also consider close collaborations with parents, carers, school staff and relevant organisations important since they have more direct and frequent contact with school pupils and young people.
In 2020, we have been focusing our public engagement activities on schools, and have undertaken a number of key activities as follows.
- Student Ambassadors: We have appointed a number of PhD students studying at the Centre as outreach Student Ambassadors, to help the University and the Centre conduct cyber related outreach activities.
- Cyber security activity sheet for school pupils: We worked with Futurum Careers, a school-facing magazine for attracting teenagers to study STEM subjects, to produce a cyber security awareness article with an interactive activity sheet (see below for the link and citation information), and a ‘top tips’ video that can be used to engage school pupils, parents and staff. All material is released under the Creative Common License Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) and we welcome all to use them for cyber security outreach activities with schools. Please inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you use the material and find it useful.
The article: Shujun Li and Jason Nurse, “How to Beat the Cybercriminals and Stay Safe Online,” Futurum Careers, Issue 4, pages 32-33, March 2020, DOI:10.33424/FUTURUM43.
- CyberFirst courses: Working with QA Ltd, the Centre will co-organise two NCSC-funded CyberFirst courses on campus at the University of Kent in 2020: a CyberFirst Girls Competition Development day on 17 October, and a CyberFirst Advanced Course from 10-15 August. These have been converted to virtual events due to Covid-19. We plan to organise such events again in 2021 (hopefully physically).
- Inspiring next-generation cyber experts: The Centre is actively working with schools and other organisations to promote cyber security as a future career for pupils who are interested in ICT. An example is Dr Jason Nurse being featured in Fantastic Jobs and How to Get Them, a book published by Oxford University Press as part of its famous Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops series (Kent news story).