A specialist cybercrime officer from Northumbria Police had her knowledge put to the test when she was grilled by pupils from eight Newcastle primary schools and BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern.
Claire Vandenbroecke, one of the Force’s Protect and Prepare Officers, answered questions from an audience of 365 Year 6 pupils from the West End School’s Trust at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, as part of a recent STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) event.
She took to the stage to deliver a presentation on cybercrime, speaking about Northumbria Police’s Prevent Programme which aims to encourage young people to use their skills and interests in technology for good causes, before being joined on stage by the BBC personality for a question and answer session.
Claire, who works in the Force’s newly-created Cyber Unit, said: “The aim of the event was to show the students just how many career opportunities there are in the STEM subjects.
“As part of my presentation I gave pupils an overview of what our Specialist Cyber Investigation Team does and talked to them about how they can positively use their cyber skills.
“We know that as technology advances, the skills needed to tackle cybercrime will increase which is why it is vital we educate children about the potential dangers and encourage them to use their specialist skills to help tackle it.
“There are lots of opportunities for young people with these incredible skills and we hope events like this will help encourage them to consider a future in industries such as cyber-security, and maybe even Northumbria Police.
“I’d like to thank both the West End School’s Trust and the Centre for Life for putting on such a positive event and for letting me be a part of it.”
As part of the STEMtastic 2019 event, pupils were given motivational talks about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics before completing a series of practical workshops.