Gibraltar Digital Skills Foundation
Rock Defenders: Gibraltar’s own cyber challenge
Gibraltar is well-known for its thriving digital technology industry. We want to see more local young people equipped with the skills they need to become a part of it.
In 2019, we gave a grant of £10,000 to the Gibraltar Digital Skills Foundation – a newly-registered charity which aims to develop digital skills within the community by tapping into local expertise in both the public and private sector.
Our grant funded one of the charity’s inaugural projects: Rock Defenders, a digital competition and teaching aid aimed at 12 to 14 year olds.
The Rock Defenders Challenge is set in various locations around Gibraltar and teaches students about a range of cyber-related topics, including the internet of things, networks, passwords and digital forensics. It provides every student with a basic understanding of cyber security for their everyday lives, but also challenges those with more advanced digital skills.
- Our grant of £10,000 to the Gibraltar Digital Skills Foundation funded their Rock Defenders Challenge – a digital competition and teaching aid for 12 to 14 year olds.
- Every year, around 800 pupils will take part in the Rock Defenders Challenge to help improve their digital skills.
- The Challenge is also a chance for young people to learn about careers in the technology and the cyber industries.
Improving understanding of digital technology
“The Rock Defenders Challenge was designed to show comprehensive school students the types of digital jobs and roles that exist in Gibraltar,” says Stewart Harrison, Head of Physics at Bayside Secondary School, who started the project.
“The challenge involves nine tasks, which are rolled out over three weeks and vary in difficulty. These range from basic cyber security skills such as identifying phishing emails, to investigating scenarios using databases or securing an office network.”
It’s hoped the challenge will also lead to a greater uptake of GCSE computer science and other STEM related subjects.
“Not everyone has to pick a career in the field,” says Stewart Harrison. “But they should all have an awareness and understanding of digital technology. Rock Defenders helps make this happen.”
“Rock Defenders was designed to give students an idea of what types of jobs and roles exist in our digital Gibraltar. We aim to see a number of things in the students who take part. A better idea of career prospects which are more technology orientated, more uptake in GCSE computer science and other STEM related subjects, and a better understanding of digital skills in general.”