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Registration for state-sponsored cybersecurity competition underway

By Staff | Dec 19, 2019

HONOLULU – Gov. David Y. Ige is encouraging young women in grades 9-12 to take advantage of an opportunity to explore the cybersecurity and computer science fields by trying to solve the challenges of the 2020 Girls Go CyberStart program.

The state is partnering with the SANS Institute to bring the program to Hawaii.

“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 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.

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

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 ten Hawaii high school girls will each get $500 scholarships to help them pay for college.

Registration is underway until Jan. 31, 2020. Register online at www.girlsgocyberstart.org/. To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, visit go.girlsgocyberstart.org/.