Press Release

GCHQ hosts its first Teachers' Symposium to inspire young scientists and mathematicians

Last Updated: 31 Jan 2014
GCHQ opens its doors to those aiming to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in schools.



Press Release - 31 Jan 2014

GCHQ, in partnership with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), played host to teachers from across the country at its first ever Teachers’ Symposium today, opening its doors in support of those aiming to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in schools.

In a packed day at GCHQ’s Headquarters in Cheltenham, over a hundred teachers, heard from a range of groups with a joint interest in encouraging today’s students to get involved in the study of science-based subjects, and to take advantage of the exciting career opportunities such qualifications can offer.

GCHQ’s Director General of Technology Capability who opened today’s event said:

"STEM subjects have always been critical disciplines at the core of GCHQ’s work to safeguard the nation. GCHQ has a long association with STEM development and encouraging these subjects through its outreach programme in local schools".

The Symposium attendees heard presentations from organisations such as the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the National Cipher Challenge, the University of the West of England and the Cyber Security Challenge.

The Bloodhound SSC group also presented information about their work on the world’s fastest car, whilst the 2013 winner of The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year award, Abbie Hutty, covered her fascinating work with the ExoMars Rover Mission.

Reflecting on her day at GCHQ, Abbie said:

"I think it’s always valuable to engage directly with educators, as they can take our messages about engineering directly into the classrooms and reach hundreds of students".

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, who worked with GCHQ on today’s event said:

"Events like today should encourage young people to pursue a career in STEM subjects and become a critical component for our future economic growth".


Notes to editors:

About GCHQ (

GCHQ is an intelligence and security organisation, working to keep Britain safe and secure in the challenging environment of modern communication. GCHQ works to protect the UK from a range of established and emerging threats which challenge the nation’s security and interests.

About GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership ( and

Set up by central Government in 2011 to work with local businesses, local voluntary organisations and local authorities, the role of GFirst LEP is to drive sustainable economic growth in the county and, by doing so, create jobs and business opportunities for Gloucestershire.

About Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) (

The IET represent the Engineering and Technological profession on matters of public concern, assisting governments when required. The IET Women’s Network supports women in the profession.

About Institute of Maths and its Applications (IMA)(

The IMA support the advancement of mathematical knowledge and its applications. They aim to promote a mathematical culture throughout the country.

About National Cipher Challenge - University of Southampton(

An annual cryptographic competition organised by the University of Southampton School of Mathematics. The aim is to break challenging cryptograms. GCHQ have sponsored this event since its inception in 2002.

About Cyber Security Challenge UK  (

The Cyber Security Challenge UK Ltd aims to raise awareness of cyber learning opportunities and careers, bringing more talented people into the Cyber Security profession.

About University of the West of England (

The Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics is committed to addressing the complex challenges of the 21st Century by enabling graduates to use a range of engineering technologies and mathematical skills and design methods. Partnerships and relationships are key to developing cross-disciplinary solutions.

About Bloodhound SSC (

Bloodhound SSC is a project to build a supersonic car to reach speeds of 1000 mph.