Young Women Invited to Tackle Statewide Cybersecurity Challenge

December 12, 2019, 7:00 AM HST · Updated December 11, 10:55 PM
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Hawai’i’s young women are encouraged to explore computer science by entering this year’s Girls Go Cyberstart program.

“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,” Gov. Ige said in a press release.

The state is partnering with the SANS Institute to bring the Girls Go CyberStart program to Hawaiʻi for young women in grades 9 to 12.

Students (and their teachers) do not need any prior 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.

Hawaiʻi’s 2019 winners include teams from Myron B. Thompson Academy, first place; St. Andrews Schools, second place; and Seabury Hall, third place. Finalists in the competition include 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 topics like 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 Hawaiʻi high school girls will each receive $500 scholarships to help pay for college.

Registration is open and runs until Jan. 31.

Click here to register.

To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, click here.

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