The state of Hawaii is partnering with SANS Institute to bring the Girls Go CyberStart program back to the islands. Young women in grades 9-12 are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to explore the cybersecurity and computer science fields by trying to solve the program’s 2020 challenges.

“This free and fun program gives young women in our state the opportunity to discover if they have an interest in cybersecurity or computer science through challenges, tools and games,” said Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

Participating students (and their teachers) do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate. All that is required is a computer and an Internet connection. The program is free for schools and students.

Hawaii’s 2019 winners are teams from Myron B. Thompson Academy, first place; St. Andrews Schools, second place; and Seabury Hall, third place.  Finalists in the competition are teams from Sacred Hearts Academy, Kapolei High School and Keaau High School.

“Women represent just 20 percent of the global cyber security workforce and this is a terrific opportunity for girls to learn more about the industry in an educational and fun setting,” said Vincent Hoang, Office of Enterprise Technology Services Chief Information Security Officer.

Participants use the CyberStart Game, an online series of challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore exciting, relevant topics such as cryptography and digital forensics.

High schools where at least five girls in the Girls Go CyberStart Program who master six or more of the challenges will win access to the full CyberStart Game for their entire school, extending the competition to both male and female students for the remainder of the school year. Students will also have the opportunity to win cash prizes for themselves and their schools.  This year, at least 10 Hawaii high school girls will each get $500 scholarships to help them pay for college.

Registration is open through January 31, 2020 online at:

https://www.girlsgocyberstart.org/

To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, visit:

https://go.girlsgocyberstart.org/

Girls Go CyberStart by the numbers:

  • 476 girls from 34 Hawaii high schools participated in 2019 Girls Go CyberStart
  • The Hawaii State winner ranked 6th in the nation.
  • Prizes: 1st place = $100 per girl + $100 for the school; 2nd place = $75 per girl + $100 for the school; 3rd place = $50 per girl + $100 for the school
  • 10 Hawaii girls had individual game scores that qualified them for $500 scholarships
  • A total of $8,600 in cash prizes and scholarships were awarded to Hawaii players and their schools.

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