The success of the Smart Edu Club in November

07 Nov, 2022

Min read

three people sitting together for Smart EDU cyber security courses

Authored by the Tyndall National Institute

During the mid-break in November, Cyber Skills, Ireland's leading experts in cyber security education, and SMART Edu Club, a start-up based in Cork, came together to launch an exciting new free initiative aimed at educating young people between the ages of eight and twelve about internet safety and online behaviour.

Funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Grant, the two-day Cyber Security Workshop fully engaged young people and adults alike in creating secret messages, solving riddles, investigating mysteries, and helping heroes save the day using data encryption, decryption and code breaking techniques. No previous knowledge or experience was required from participants to fully enjoy the experience.

The workshop programme was developed by SMART Edu Club, a start-up founded in Cork by Marinara Marcato, a PhD Candidate at Tyndall National Institute/UCC and IGNITE Incubator participant. SMART Edu Club is on a mission to inspire and educate the next generation of problem-solvers by creating fun learning experiences. 

Marinara Marcato describes the opportunity for children who join the workshop: “I am confident that our programme brings together relevant information in a very accessible, practical, and diverse way. We believe in igniting children’s curiosity, empowering them with knowledge and supporting them along the way to develop new skills. That is why we incorporate a diverse range of elements in our programmes including hands-on activities, engaging stories, group challenges and more”

This collaboration leverages the cyber security knowledge of the Cyber Skills’ course lecturers and the STEM education expertise of the SMART Edu Club team, while funding from Science Foundation Ireland means that cyber security courses can reach more age groups. 

Professor Donna O’Shea, Chair of Cyber Security at MTU and Project Lead at Cyber Skills, said: “Cyber Skills Education and Public Engagement (EPE) programme is committed to a range of activities that improves the cyber resilience of all our citizens. We are delighted to partner with

SMART Edu Club in developing a programme of new activities focused on educating our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, our children, on the importance of good cyber hygiene practices.” 

This year’s free workshop was a sell out with all participants eager to sign up for the next one. To learn more and find out when the next Cyber Security Workshop is taking place, visit    

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