INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb is inviting female high school students to explore their interest in the computer science and technology field by joining the Girls Go CyberStart program. CyberStart is an online series of challenges that allow students to solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore exciting, relevant topics, such as cryptography and digital forensics.
“Technology is transforming every sector of Indiana’s workforce, and today’s students need an education and experiences that will prepare them for the jobs of the future,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This CyberStart competition is a fun way for young women to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”
In 2017, the SANS Institute piloted CyberStart, a program designed to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while identifying talented youth. The 2017 state CyberStart program provided the opportunity for nearly 3,500 students in seven states to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity. Only five percent of the participating students were young women. As a result, SANS is launching Girls Go CyberStart in coordination with Cisco, a new program designed specifically for high school girls.
Participating students do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Girls may play alone or in teams of two to four. Those who participate have the opportunity to win computers and other technology-based prizes. The grand prize includes a trip, along with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference. Additionally, the winning girls’ schools will receive a cash prize.
Registration begins today at girlsgocyberstart.com and ends Feb. 16, 2018. The competition is limited to the first 10,000 female high school participants. Participants will play the game online from Feb. 20 through Feb. 25.
Indiana is one of 17 states and territories participating in the Girls Go CyberStart program. Other participants include American Samoa, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
More information, a description of the game and a sample challenge may be found on the Girls Go CyberStart website at girlsgocyberstart.com.