Henrietta Barnett School students reach final of competition to find codebreakers of future

Students from Henrietta Barnett School have beaten 8,000 rivals to qualify for the grand final of th

Students from Henrietta Barnett School have beaten 8,000 rivals to qualify for the grand final of the national cyberfirst girls challenge. - Credit: Archant

A team of Hampstead schoolgirls have beaten 8,000 rivals to reach the final of a competition to find the best code breakers of the future.

On Monday Henrietta Barnett School students Beth Roberts, Maddie Miyazaki, Miranda Purchase and Jess Ebner-Statt will travel to the heart of Westminster to pit their technological wits against teams from nine other schools at the final of CyberFirst Girls competition.

They enter the competition with technological experience that far exceeds their years after three of the girls represented the UK internationally at robotics.

The competition has been organised by the National Cyber Security Centre to generate more interest among young women in the increasingly important field of cyber security.

Headteacher Del Cooke said: “We are really thrilled that our students have done so well in this prestigious competition.

“They came across the competition themselves and begged to be allowed to enter and we are so proud that they have got through to the final.”

The final will test the girls’ security skills through a series of challenging scenarios, before they are asked to present their findings to industry experts.

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The winning team will take home prizes and their school will receive £1,000 worth of IT equipment.

They will be presented with the prizes by Miriam González, founder of Inspiring Girls International and a partner in the law firm Dechert.

She said: “I am truly impressed by the talent of the girls who have taken part of the competition and I do hope that many of them pursue a career in the technology field.

“Inspiring Girls International is proud of collaborating with CyberFirst Girls, a wonderful initiative to inspire young women that shows to them that cyber security can offer a very interesting career for both, men and women, who are willing to make an impact in our society.”