- Cyber Explorers is a free interactive cyber security learning platform being rolled out across UK secondary schools
- Cyber Explorers will teach 11-14 year olds essential digital skills to meet future talent demand of the cyber security sector
- Schools in Newport, Newry, Inverclyde, Birmingham and Bradford are among the pilot areas to hold educational events for pupils and teachers
- To sign up, please visit the Cyber Explorers website
Thousands of secondary school students can now learn essential cyber security skills for free through a new online learning platform available to schools across the country.
Cyber Explorers was launched on 23 February 2022 – read more in the press notice.
New data published by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport shows cyber security in the UK is going from strength to strength. The number of jobs in the sector increased by 13 per cent in 2021, with more than 6,000 new jobs created. However, only a third of companies are confident they will be able to access the digital skills they need in the years to come. The lack of relevant training is a barrier keeping young people from some of the country’s most innovative and exciting careers.
The new platform is being rolled out as part of the government’s ambition for cyber skills set out in the National Cyber Strategy. This will help ensure the UK has a sustainable supply of diverse and high-quality individuals joining the cyber workforce in the future. Equipping young people with the digital awareness and skills they need will enable them to pursue a career path in the sector.
Who is this for?
Cyber Explorers introduces 11-14 year olds to key security concepts, like open-source intelligence, digital forensics and social engineering. The platform teaches students how digital, computing and cyber skills are integral to a range of career paths, including social media content creation, sports technology and medical research. Through a gamified journey made up of quizzes and activities, the platform teaches students about the future of technology in the workplace and gives them safe and secure digital skills.
Currently, girls and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are underrepresented in computer science and IT courses at GCSE and equivalent levels. This trend continues in today’s cyber security workforce. Just 16 per cent of roles in the sector are filled by women and many senior roles are not fully representative of wider society. Cyber Explorers has been designed to engage younger students before they choose subjects for their GCSEs and equivalent qualifications with the aim of improving the diversity of pupils considering computer science courses at Key Stage 4 and beyond.
This is a completely free resource which can be used by schools and teachers. It can also be used for independent learning by children who are home-schooled or for independent study at home.
If you are a young person interested in participating in the Cyber Explorers programme
To sign up for Cyber Explorers please contact your school or teachers who can sign up here.
Students will be allowed to self-enrol at a later date.
Students can join a citizen and select a challenge on a journey of discovery to understand cyber skills and the possibility of a successful cyber or digital career. Along the way they will learn that technology is the future for everyone – it plays a vital role in daily life and almost all careers. But all technology needs to be used safely and securely.
Along with the help of both the friendly Cyber Ranger and the knowledgeable Cyber Squad, each student explores various scenarios. Through a mix of engaging activities from games, quizzes, puzzles to challenges, young people will learn how to broaden their thinking, make smarter choices and develop essential cyber security skills. Collecting badges along the way, students will build their skills as they head towards the ultimate challenge in a bid to save Cyber City.
If you are a school or teacher wanting to get involved
You can sign up for Cyber Explorers here.
The learning content on Cyber Explorers has been developed by experts and supports the learning objectives and curriculum for Key Stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and S2/S3 in Scotland.
Students will learn how digital and technology play a part in career opportunities. The platform also heightens student awareness around online safety and encourages broader thinking around how to make better choices.
Below you can find resources that introduce the Cyber Explorers platform and how to register for it. There are written guides to platform modules and some additional resources for use in class or in after-school clubs.
Teacher resources are available on the Cyber Explorers website. These include:
- a video on how the platform works
- instructions on how to register
- content on how to deliver additional activities and materials for presentations