14 July, 2020
A team of four Year 8 students from Ormiston Venture Academy took part in the national Unlock Cyber Challenge, winning first place out of 120 students.
The competition was organised by Unlock Cyber and powered by Immersive Labs. It was a nationwide competition to test students’ cyber skills, with a prize for the top team. Students completed challenges which required them to put their computer science knowledge to the test. This was the first time Ormiston Venture Academy had entered the competition, but that didn’t stop them taking the crown.
The students had been given a practice set by Immersive Labs where they could try out different challenges to get used to the online format before the competition started. The challenge was a 2-hour team challenge where each team was given the same tasks and needed to work together to decipher the differing levels in the set time. The competition this year went online to abide by social distancing measures.
There were around 30 schools and over 120 students that took part. The Ormiston Venture Academy students that took part were Megan Beales, Lilly Bennett, Bethany Cooper and Dominic Dlugosz. They had completed practice tasks the week before on so were well-prepared for the challenge. They worked together and went through each challenge methodically, completing all of the questions.
Once the competition was over, there were a nervous few days waiting for the results as they were so close that the judges needed a while to closely check the scores. However, the wait was worth it when Ormiston Venture Academy was announced the winning team!
Team member Bethany Cooper said:
“The Unlock Cyber Challenge was a fun and creative way to get us involved and learn new skills. The different tasks had a range of skills needed, so by working in a group, we were able to combine our own skills and work through the tasks together. It was a great idea and I would definitely do it again.”
Owen Cooper, Teacher of Computer Science at Ormiston Venture Academy said:
“Our Year 8s were amazing. I wanted them to take part in this to give them the confidence to show their skills in computer science and be part of a nationwide competition building up their resilience and perseverance. They showed excellent dedication with their practice challenges the week before and I am so proud of how they worked together to answer these difficult tasks and compete when I know they were extremely nervous. To win the event on their first time of entering was awesome, and for each team member to win a £25 Amazon Voucher was incredible!”