9th grade girls from six schools around Blackpool and Fleetwood attended events held at the University Library and Infolab building, where they had the opportunity to experiment with technology, explore state-of-the-art scientific research facilities and learn about job opportunities. Delivered through the Computing and Cyber Sectors.
Students attending were from Cardinal Allen Catholic High School, Fleetwood High School, Montgomery Academy, Amfield Academy, Highfield Leadership Academy, and St. Mary’s Catholic Academy in Blackpool and Fleetwood.
The event brought together academic experts from Lancaster University’s Department of Computing and Communications and Physics, the Lancashire Cyber Foundry led by Lancaster University and Cyber Girls First, an organization that inspires school-age girls to study computing, IT and more. supported through cyber field.
Dr. Kelly Widdicks, Computer Science Lecturer at Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications and chair of the school’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group, said: As a university, we want to help address this disparity by encouraging girls to use computers from an early age, and inspiring outreach with groups like Cyber Girls First is a key part of achieving that. ”
During the day, students tried out virtual reality headsets and enjoyed an interactive tour of building a car from a robotics kit, followed by a cyber Lego activity that serves as a cybersecurity game to manage the business.
The girls then toured the university’s IsoLab, a special state-of-the-art laboratory facility where vibration, noise and electromagnetic disturbances are significantly reduced. It is used in research in quantum physics, a pioneering field in cybersecurity. Students also participated in networking lunches with businesses and heard from inspiring visitors such as Lancaster alumni Marie Hamilton of Microsoft.
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Rebecca Robinson, Program Director at Lancashire Cyber Foundry, said: Cybersecurity role-playing game shows girls can be capable leaders making financial decisions about business security. I hope this experience will inspire other young people to start their journey in computing.”
The event was attended by Cyber Girls First’s Pat Ryan and Lancaster alumni Wendy Parmley. Pat said: “This event was hoped to be the first for many female students visiting Lancaster University at Blackpool Schools to see the amazing facility at their doorstep. Wendy Parmley and I expected a positive response from the girls, but nothing prepared us for the excitement the visit evoked. It was possible because the instructors and staff gave generous time to make this event a success.”