On Saturday 6th July, the matrix challenge final 2019 took place at York Racecourse. After over 9,000 11 to 17 year olds entered, the final 60 students competed in the live final. They were split into two age categories 11-14 and 15-17 year old.

The 60 finalists played challenges throughout the day to gain points, which then placed them in an age category points table.

Each supporting company had a different challenge set up for the finalists. Drone Major (pictured below) funded some students from Holland who had brought in a mini drone. The finalists designed an anti-drone device, and the winner would successfully take down the drone in the quickest time possible.

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North Yorkshire Police (pictured below) provided an open source activity helping finalists to understand their digital footprint

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BAE Systems (pictured below) created a challenging catch the flag exercise

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BT (pictured below) had lock pick race, fastest to unlock the door were awarded the most points.

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Krash Labs created a Steganography capture the flag, by finding the passwords hidden in images, participants could advance onto the next level.

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Leeds Beckett University (pictured below) ran a cyber security escape room; teams could only win by successfully following the clues to establish the crime that had been committed.

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Kerensa Jennings (pictured below), CEO of iDEA and Director, Office of HRH The Duke of York, provided the Keynote speech. Kerensa Jennings spoke about inspiring the young, making a difference and how iDEA can help to develop digital skills.

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An agent from the FBI ran an interactive quiz featuring questions and misconceptions about cyber security.

Talks were held throughout the day for parents and guardians.

Liz Stanton MBE from Get safe online provided a talk on online safety. Robert Garbett, CEO of Drone Major Group gave an insight into the future of drone technology and advances in innovation and Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer from Leeds Beckett University led a talk on Career and education paths for the children in the cyber security sector.

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During Lunch, Robert Garbett from Drone Major arranged a full-scale drone demonstration. The finalists were allowed into the surveillance van to watch the live feed from the drone camera.

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The top three participants from each age category were presented with prizes and certificates kindly supplied by Cloud Digital Ltd.

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SBL sponsored an award for Special Recognition. Finalist from each age group who showed great initiative or enthusiasm towards the challenges were awarded these prizes.

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The whole day was extremely successful with students coming away  with a much better insight in the world of cyber security and perhaps a desire to explore the education path further.

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We would like to thank all our sponsors and to the companies who came to run challenges for the finalists.

The Matrix Challenge was a great success; this is by far the largest Law enforcement led competition of this kind. We have succeeded in engaging with so many children and their parents, it is hoped that even more children will go on to help fight cybercrime.

We have been overwhelmed with the feedback both on the day and after.

‘Thank you for the event on Saturday, the kids loved it!’

‘I found the event really well organised and informative and was pleased I could attend with my daughter; she really enjoyed the event immensely and was blown away with coming 3rd in the 11-14 year old challenge.’   

 

And the Winners are....

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Joe Calvert (picture above) From West Yorkshire was the winner of the 15 to 17 year old category said “The challenge was a lot of fun, I had a laugh with the people in my group all day and there was a great range of activities. The atmosphere there was brilliant and winning was a great finish to top it all off - I'm pretty proud of myself.”

 

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Jacob Newby (pictured above) from north Yorkshire was the winner in the 11 to 14 year old category said “ The Matrix Challenge provides a great opportunity for youth to showcase their talents. I think the various talks given to both adults and children alike allowed for a very fun day out. The activities were fun and engaging, as well as challenging too!”

More picture will be available here shortly.