MPs face the cyber test as college pupils join technology day at Parliament

Gamlingay Village College students at Parliament with MP Heidi Allen. Picture: Matt Chung
Gamlingay Village College students at Parliament with MP Heidi Allen. Picture: Matt Chung

Three pupils from Gamlingay Village College took their technology expertise to Parliament where they quizzed politicians.

The year 5 pupils had been chosen to attend the Tech Future Girls event held on Wednesday, February 24 at the Houses of Parliament, for an event sponsored by Hewlett Packard.

Gamlingay Village College Headteacher James Birkett and Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, with students at Parliament.

Gamlingay Village College Headteacher James Birkett and Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, with students at Parliament.

The pupils were representing one of only 11 schools who had been specially selected for their commitment to promoting computer science and technology through the Tech Futures initiative.

Lead teacher Emma Sunderland said: “We run a girls technology club at Gamlingay which is well attended and focuses on the high level skills the technology industry is crying out for.

“It is particularly pleasing to see such an event targeted at girls who are traditionally under-represented in the industry.”

During the visit the three college pupils met with a range of MPs and senior executives from Hewlett Packard and all visitors to their stand were quizzed on their understanding of cyber security and those who passed were awarded certificates, specially signed by the pupils!

Emma Sunderland and Gamlingay Village College students at the London Eye. Picture: Matt Chung

Emma Sunderland and Gamlingay Village College students at the London Eye. Picture: Matt Chung

The work of the school was praised by both Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education and Equalities and Siobhan McDonough MP, parliamentary host of the event. She said that clubs and activities such as those underway at Gamlingay Village College are vital in ensuring that girls and women are inspired to learn and work in the technology sector, proving that there should in the future, be no such thing as girls or boys jobs.

Headteacher James Birkett said: “We are hugely proud of the work that the pupils have undertaken and are delighted to showcase their achievement in such a prestigious forum. We are totally committed to providing the very best educational opportunities for our pupils, both inside and outside of the classroom. The three Year 5 girls were wonderful ambassadors for the school and spoke to politicians with the impressive confidence, aspiration and pride that we aim to install in all of the children at Gamlingay Village College.”

Gamlingay Village College’s Tech Future Girls were also visited by Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire. Heidi passed the cyber security test and then spent time with the pupils discussing their project and offering them encouragement for future work.

The final part of the day for all schools involved a trip on the London Eye and a presentation of goody bags from Hewlett Packard.

The pupils described the day as “Epic, awesome and one of the best days ever.”