Tech Partnership’s Countdown to Chaos inspires young people about cyber security careers

Absorb the briefing, listen out for the news flashes, react to the instant messages – and do all of this against the clock as you race to save the UK’s power grid from malicious attack. The Tech Partnership’s new Countdown to Chaos places students in the role of the Government’s counter-security chief, hunting down the mastermind behind a planned cyber security coup.

The interactive teaching resource has been created for 11 -14-year-olds, engaging, educating and inspiring students over four hours of teaching time – meaning it can be delivered during a half-day workshop, over a series of lessons, or as part of an after-school or lunchtime club. More than 400 teachers and students have already signed up to use Countdown to Chaos, and initial reaction has been very positive.

“I am always on the lookout for imaginative and involving ways to teach tech skills, and Countdown to Chaos certainly fits the bill,” says Liz Goddard, Subject Leader in IT at Casterton College, a secondary Academy in Rutland. “I am impressed by the realistic presentation of the material and students have enjoyed working their way through the programme. It’s good to see them so engaged in cyber security.”

Countdown to Chaos also has longer term goals: to show students how stimulating, worthwhile and enjoyable life as a cyber security specialist can be, and to encourage a new generation to consider a career in the profession. It reflects employer concern at the continuing shortage of recruits to cyber security – at a time when Government and businesses are keen to minimise their vulnerability to attack. It has been developed with the generous support and active participation of the Digital Economy Unit at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“Cyber security skills are an increasingly important part of the toolkit for students,” says Tech Partnership Chief Executive, Karen Price, “but there’s a serious lack of teaching resources for schools to use. Countdown to Chaos answers a real need, and answers it in a way that young people respond to – fast, exciting and realistic. We’re keen for as many students as possible to have the chance to learn these skills, and unlock their cyber potential.”

Countdown to Chaos is entirely free of charge to schools. It forms part of the suite of industry-backed TechFuture Classroom online learning resources, created by the Tech Partnership to enhance tech and digital learning across the curriculum.

If you know of a school that would benefit from these resources, please pass on this information to give more young people a great opportunity.

Access the Countdown to Chaos resource here