The 1st Annual “Be A Cyber Scientist” workshop was organized from 29th until 31st January at UCLan Cyprus. The objective of the workshop was to familiarize young kids with technology, programming and Internet of Things (IoT) concepts and cultivate a cyber culture from a young age.
It is a reality that technology has penetrated in our everyday lives, with programming becoming an essential skill across many disciplines. Some researchers argue that programming has already become a necessary survival skill similar to reading and writing. At the same time, there is currently a low interest by young people to get engaged with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields (e.g. through studies, careers, etc.). Introducing STEM concepts through fun programming-based activities can demonstrate the potentials that exist in STEM careers, make programming more appealing to young people/pupils and encourage them to pursue further knowledge in STEM-based and programming subjects. Python is a programming language, which in the last decade has gained a lot of popularity among young people, mostly because it is an easy to use programming language with simple to understand syntax. This makes Python an attractive choice for introducing young people to programming.
By attending the “Be A Cyber Scientist” workshop, young students had the opportunity to engage with fun activities using several Raspberry Pi, IoT kits and program them using Python. The workshop was led by Prof. Irene Polycarpou, Head of School of Science, Dr Eliana Stavrou, Course Leader of MSc Cybersecurity and Dr Panayiotis Andreou, Course Leader of MSc Data Analytics at UCLan Cyprus.
The workshop was repeated daily to accommodate a number of participants. Overall, 80 pupils (age 12) have attended the workshop.
The event was organized by InSPIRE Research Center and UCLan Cyprus. Moreover, the event has received sponsorship by InSPIRE Research Center, UCLan Cyprus, Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) and Python Software Foundation (PSF).