Special to The SUN
The state of Colorado is again partnering with the SANS Institute to offer the Girls Go CyberStart program and encouraging high school students across the state to participate.
In 2018, 250 students from 24 high schools in Colorado participated in the girls-only online cybersecurity competition through which prizes and scholarships are awarded. Students and schools can learn more and register at http://girlsgocyberstart.org.
“Women are underrepresented in the tech and cybersecurity industry,” said Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera. “We hope this fun challenge will encourage more young women to test their skills and explore opportunities in this field.”
The Girls Go CyberStart game is an online series of challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve realistic problems and puzzles and explore exciting, relevant topics, such as cryptography and digital forensics. Participating students (and their teachers) do not need prior knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate. All that is required is a computer and an Internet connection.
“Cybersecurity is a fascinating and ever-evolving field,” explained Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek, chief information officer and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Information Technology. “I encourage young Colorado women to participate in Girls Go CyberStart and uncover a passion for information technology, because cyber experts are in great demand.”
The Girls Go CyberStart program is free for schools and students. As an added incentive for this year’s program, another $200,000 in college scholarship money will be awarded to high school juniors and seniors who perform well in the game. At least 10 high school girls in Colorado will win scholarships, and the top three high schools in Colorado with the most participants will win awards of $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively.
All Colorado high school girls in grades 9 to 12 are invited to play. Registration opened Feb. 18. Play begins on March 20.
Special to The SUN