Young coder wins award for designing game to promote keeping kids safe online
A BUDDING game maker from Bradford on Avon has been named as one of the winners of Wiltshire Police’s coding competition as part of their Cyber Life campaign.
Myles Butterworth, 10 developed an online game based on the theme of Staying Safe Online.
He along with other applicants came up with his own team name and logo, and presented his game to the Wiltshire Police judges via a two minute video, which were hosted on YouTube.
Myles’ game, which involved the player avoiding hackers and viruses onscreen to reach a box full of saftey tips, won the junior age category along with Toby Johnson 10 from Salisbury.
The Winsley primary school pupil and Toby went to Police Headquarters on Tuesday to receive their prizes, which included a raspberry pi computer, a tour of Wiltshire Police Headquarters, the chance to sit in a road traffic car and meet a police dog handler and their dog.
They also met with officers who investigate cyber crimes in the force.
Myles said: “I’m interested in maths, electronics and coding and when I grow up I would like to work in software.
“My favourite bit from the day was meeting the police dogs as they were really fun. I learnt lots of safety tips while doing the competition.”
Dad Anthony Butterworth added: “It was great for Myles to see how his hobby could potentially be used in the future and I think it did inspire him seeing all the gadgets that the cyber crime unit use.
“He is already into coding, maths and science and had begun creating a platform using python coding so we were able to adapt that into a game.
“As a parent keeping your children safe online is a real worry. He doesn’t have a mobile phone yet or social media accounts but he will in the future and it is a concern about how to make sure they stay safe.”
Detective Inspector Gemma Vinton said: “We were overwhelmed by the number of entries we received, all of which were very impressive and of a high standard.
“We all need to be more mindful of the ever changing face of cybercrime, and that our ‘switched-on’ lives can cause additional risks, so it’s essential that we take simple, actionable steps to stay safer online. Educating young people and asking them to think about how to safeguard themselves online is a great starting point.”
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