A joint initiative between the WA AustCyber Innovation Hub and the Innovation Institute, Cyber Saturdays commenced its pilot program in October of 2020 and will continue with a number of new programs open to secondary school students across the Perth metropolitan area and select regions in Western Australia.
The format of Cyber Saturdays is a 9 week program, running each Saturday and involving different industry and academic professionals from the realm of cyber security, who educate, inspire, empower and equip secondary school students with the skills and knowledge that are applied to one of the largest growth industries in Australia.
There are two (2) different types of Cyber Saturday program streams set to run in 2021, they are;
- Cyber Saturdays
- Cyber Saturdays Plus
The first stream, simply titled Cyber Saturdays, is the 9 week program open to new students who wish to be introduced to cyber security or who may want to increase their knowledge and skills. Each Saturday, students will engage with a different cyber professional, all from various areas of the industry, ranging from analysis, cyber architecture, cyber engineering, through to governance, penetration testing and academia. This gives students a taste of each of the various areas within cyber security as well as awareness of the pathways to get into these roles and the skills and traits needed to work in them. Each week, students will work in teams to plan, produce and edit a promotional video marketing cyber security careers to their peers. The videos are shown during the awards ceremony one week after the completion of Week 9.
Cyber Saturdays Plus is open to all students who have participated in the Cyber Saturdays program, previously. This 7 week program gives students the opportunity to work in teams on a cyber security project. Facilitated by security industry professionals who mentor teams and guide them with their projects, this program requires students to go beyond just the Saturday learning and work online together with their team when given the opportunity so as to complete their projects on time. Just like Cyber Saturdays, the Plus program will also have an awards and presentation ceremony of the projects, set one week after the program completion.
In 2020 Cyber Saturdays received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and students alike when it concluded. 15 students participated in the pilot program from October to December. We now look at 2021 as the year that Cyber Saturdays expands across WA, with multiple programs running throughout the year in both Perth and select regions of Western Australia.