With Girls Go CyberStart I learned so much in such a short period of time that it should be a crime. I tell all the girls in our school that GGCS is a great competition where girls can learn new skills and perhaps find a path in this field of work in the future.
Girls Go CyberStart is a program to help solve a problem that is putting our nation's security at risk - and girls could play an important part in the solution.
The US needs cyber defenders because hackers threaten our day-to-day safety by attacking our hospitals, our power grid, our banks and even our schools. Right now there are over 300,00 unfilled jobs in the US because there aren't enough cybersecurity professionals. The number of unfilled cyber jobs is expected to go up to 1 million in the next 5 years.
To help fill those jobs and solve our nation's problem, we have to bring more women into cybersecurity careers. By opening Girls Go CyberStart to tens of thousands of high school girls, we can find the next generation of talented women who will excel in this critical field.
Last school year there were more than 10,000 high school girls getting the chance to discover whether they have an aptitude for computer science and cybersecurity. In 2019 the program was in 25 states through a sponsorship by the National Governors Association. Our goal in 2020 is to give every school across the country the opportunity to participate in this exciting program.
The program is free and thanks to a partnership with CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) and CSforAll, the Girls Go CyberStart competition is now open to nationwide participation as our common mission is to reach as many girls as possible. Check the leaderboard to see how many girls and schools in your state are playing! https://www.girlsgocyberstart.org/leaderboard
I had no idea what cybersecurity was but after the first few challenges, I was hooked. Whenever I had a free moment, I was working towards the goal of solving as many challenges as possible. I did not get as far as some of the other girls, but I had so much fun that I realized I had developed a strong interest in cybersecurity – so much so that I would want to college for it.
Jada, New Jersey
To be eligible to participate, students must:
Students and teachers can watch the GGCS Webinar that provides lots more details! GGCS Webinar
Girls Go CyberStart activities are all online, girls can work together at school or solve challenges individually at home – or both! All you need is a computer and access to the Internet.
Round 1: CyberStart Assess
Opens January 13th and runs to February 14th.
Round 2: CyberStart Game
Opens February 10th. Scores collected on May 4th to qualify for Round 3. Access to CyberStart Game is open for all students to continue learning until June 30th.
Round 3: CyberStart Compete (aka National GGCS Championship)
Continuous play May 20 to May 21
Check out CyberStart Go, our sampler set of puzzles – you'll have 60 minutes to play through as many of the challenges as you can!
Our new blog, Mrs. G's CyberStart Tips, will have Pop-Up practice challenges plus walk-through solutions and a regular set of 'What to know before you CyberStart' articles.
Check out the additional resources page on the SANS website.