St Mary’s Girls Win at Royal Signals STEM Cyber Challenge

On Tuesday 25th September, Mr Lawrence took ten pupils from LV,UV and LVI to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Cyber Challenge day hosted by the Royal Signals at Blandford Camp.

Pupils from local schools were placed into teams of seven and entered a huge hall filled with tables and laptops set up and ready to go. The task set was to crack the codes of dozens of cyber-based tasks using all the encryption and software they could find installed on the laptop and online. Each challenge was scored from 20 points to 1600 points depending on the difficulty.

Everyone had to really think outside the box, share thoughts and ideas with team mates and persevere at challenges, trying different paths and when each one failed, attempting a new route. These are excellent skills that the pupils developed as the day progressed and will help them when they return to the classroom.

Special mention should be made to Bea who attempted a 1600 point challenge, trying to decipher a code in an army video hidden in the high frequency of the audio. After persevering for an hour using software to visualise the complex sound patterns in the video, she finally cracked it to great satisfaction. The live scoreboard on the screen certainly helped with the competitive element. Army personnel involved in coding were also available to give tips and advice.

After 5 hours of activities, Tallulah, Anastasia and Elena found themselves on the winning team along with some girls from Blandford School. They were presented their certificates by a Royal Signals Colonel who had overseen the day.

A really great day and a win for St Mary’s!

by Martin Lawrence, Head of Science