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11 July 2019

Students from "Nayden Gerov" Primary School and Hristo Botev Primary School in Varna will present to their parents the secrets of cyberspace they have learned during the last two weeks within the framework of the project "Cyber magicians". The event will take place on Friday - July 12, at 5 pm at Mladeshki Dom in Varna. During the meeting, the lecturers from Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" will provide parents with useful information about security and how to avoid the dangers in the digital environment that their children use. The educational project is implemented by the Directorate "Education and Youth Activities" of Varna Municipality and Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar".

It follows the Program for Stimulating Activities and Appearances of Schoolchildren in the municipality and aims to develop their skills in the fields of informatics, mathematics, arts and, above all, safe and secure use of digital environment. The project covers 120 Varna students from 17 schools, who will take part in the educational project "Cyber magicians" until the end of August.

"The aim of the training is to make the Internet a natural occurrence for the children - to be observant, to be able to keep themselves and their personal data safe, to respond adequately to problems that have arisen", commented Assoc. Prof. Dr. Galina Momcheva, Head of the Department "Computer Science" at VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar", which is responsible for the training. The students, who are in grade 5 and 6 and come from schools in Varna, encrypt and decipher information, analyze messages hidden in pictures and sounds. They are acquainted with encryption devices and machines. The cyber magicians play with binary and hexadecimal codes, create unstoppable passwords, and explore the "fingerprints" left on the internet. There is also a special lesson in which they will learn to take real fingerprints following the laws of physics and chemistry. Special attention is paid to children's emotions and mechanisms to cope with threats.

"I feel like a real cyber magician," said Viki Filipova from "Nayden Gerov" primary school. For a sixth grader, encryption and decryption of information is the most interesting thing. Her classmate Boyan Petrov likes the making of animation and is already familiar with new techniques for movement of the cartoon characters. 12-year-old Margarita Raynova said that during the course they had created their own code, which they used to encrypt famous objects on the map of Varna. The children were particularly interested in developing a prototype of the most famous in the history encryption device Enigma.

Training of students from 3rd to 8th grades from different schools started at Varna Free University. The children work at the Technological Institute of VFU "Chernorizets Hrabar" where they study the magic of informatics, mathematics and arts. A special moment in their training is the study of the folklore rhythms and folk dances.
The young cyber magicians also prepare a theater play, which will teach adults in an interesting way how to protect themselves in the digital environment. The children wait impatiently for the time when they will visit the forensics laboratory at the university and will work with fingerprint identification.

The full program and photos of the summer classes "Cyber magicians" can be found at http://cybersecurity.vfu.bg/kids.html
Photos and videos from the training see on: