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Learn ethical hacking, forensics and Linux for free

High school girls will master new skills while working their way through a vast online training game and battling for cash prizes! Take part on your own or join a Club to compete alongside friends

Run a Girls Go CyberStart Club at your school to access free cybersecurity learning resources written and developed by industry professionals. Introduce, inspire and improve your students cybersecurity knowledge with our online materials, whilst competing to win cash prizes for your school!

Bring Girls Go CyberStart to your School

High school teachers across the US can help find the next cybersecurity superstars by becoming Advisors and running a Girls Go CyberStart Club.

Taking part will not only build your students' knowledge in multiple security disciplines, but it is also great fun! Within the program, students will take on the role of a security agent. As a team, your job is to stop fearsome gangs of cyber criminals and prevent organisations from being attacked!

What is a Girls Go CyberStart Advisor?

If you work in education and are interested in helping girls discover their potential, you’d make a great Advisor! An Advisor’s job is simply to set up a Girls Go CyberStart Club at their school or organization and encourage their students to join. You don’t need any technical skills or experience, just a passion and enthusiasm for helping students.

The registration process to start a Club is quick and simple. The first stage of the program, CyberStart Assess, is now open so you and your students can get started straight away. Everything’s completed online, so you can spend as much or as little time as you have helping your students complete the challenges!

What will my students learn?

By the end of Girls Go CyberStart, students will have delved into disciplines such as cryptography, digital forensics and open source intelligence gathering and more. The program gets increasingly difficult, but the first stage is designed to be accessible to anyone to uncover hidden superstars with natural ability.

Language, STEM and Computing students often excel in cybersecurity, alongside people who love solving puzzles. But don’t forget your students who prefer geography, history and drama – they could uncover a talent they never knew they had and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Track your State's progress

You can follow your State as it climbs the leaderboard and see how your Club can help push it up the ranks here.

"Girls Go CyberStart helped reignite my passion for teaching during my 20th year in the classroom. I run a small IT program at a low-income school; it takes a lot of work to get kids into something like this. Girls Go CyberStart did that."

Rick S, Alabama, GGCS Advisor

"Our students had a great time. In a short window of time I watched our students develop their creative problem solving skills, practice perseverance and develop team work."

Tina Scheindel, GGCS advisor

Why join Girls Go CyberStart?

Access hundreds of hours of digital content to educate your class with CyberStart Game.
Over 10,000 high school girls have taken part and loved the program so far!

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CyberStart students

"Girls Go CyberStart REALLY made a big impact on my daughter! The first year, she had zero experience in computer coding or cybersecurity. After competing, she decided to take AP Comp Sci A. Not only did she earn the scholarship from you, she also secured a summer internship next year at the NJ Cyber Security Office!"

Parent of Previous Participant

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Key stages and dates

CyberStart Assess

Girls will take on a set of fun, interactive challenges that represent realistic scenarios and threats faced by practitioners in the field of cybersecurity. Students who solve 5 or more challenges will qualify for CyberStart Game.

"Thank you for this awesome opportunity for our students!! It is presented in a fun, interactive environment that encourages students to problem-solve, code and learn how Computer Science works. My students loved the challenge."

Cassandra Bryning, GGCS advisor

CyberStart Game

A gamified environment where students play as “Cyber Agents” solving digital crimes by gathering information, cracking codes, finding security flaws, and dissecting a cyber criminal’s digital trail. Clubs with the highest overall performance in Game will qualify for CyberStart Compete.

National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart

Top scoring clubs in each state will be invited to select four girls to play as a team in CyberStart Compete, an online Capture the Flag competition. Teams will compete against all other schools nationally to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place titles along with prizes and recognition from their Governor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's a Club?

A Club is a one of the ways girls in your school can participate in Girls Go CyberStart. It's used to give students a place where they can work together to achieve eligibility for CyberStart Game and to work through the challenges in CyberStart Compete. If you don’t want to run a Club but know girls who would love the program, they can register to play as individuals here.

We aren't a school - may we create a Club?

A Club may be associated with any (public or private) school or any youth organization, including Girl Scouts, the YWCA, or a homeschool association.

What is a Club Access Code?

After you have registered to run a GGCS Club, you will need to create a Club Access Code to be able to invite students to join your Club.

Your Club Access Code is a set of 4 randomly generated words that will be unique to your Club. You will need to share this code with your students so that they can join your Club after they register for GGCS. Each Club Access code can be used 100 times before it expires. After this, you can generate a new code through your GGCS dashboard.

Which students can participate?

To be eligible to participate, students must:

  • Identify as female.
  • Be at least 13 years old from program starting date.
  • Be enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade at a public or private school (or the homeschool equivalent).
  • Join a Girls Go CyberStart Club.

May a school have more than one Club?

More than one Club is permitted per school, however qualification for CyberStart Compete is on a school-by-school basis. This means if your school qualifies for the Capture the Flag, you must select 4 girls across all Clubs in your school. When registering as an advisor from a school with more than one Club, please make sure you check the box that allows us to contact you about other students from other Clubs, as well as/or about the other Clubs participating from your school.

What is a Capture the Flag?

‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) cybersecurity competitions don’t involve first-person shooters or running around outdoors. Instead, cybersecurity CTF’s involve a set of computer security puzzles and challenges that test your skills in areas such as reverse-engineering, memory corruption and cryptography. When a challenge is solved, it gives the players a flag — a secret string of code that can be exchanged for points. The more points, the higher the team moves up in rank.

What equipment will I need?

For CyberStart Assess:

  • A computer or Chromebook.
  • A reliable Internet connection.
  • Chrome or Firefox browser (including access to the developer tools within the browser - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities).

For CyberStart Game (stage 2):

  • A computer with VMware or Virtual Box, in order to run the CyberStart Virtual Machine for Game. Early levels of Game do not require the virtual machine but you will need this to play beyond Level 5 and try the forensics challenges.
  • Unrestricted access to browser developer tools/settings - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities.

Note: Many school computers have restrictions that limit access to the browser tools functions. Check with your school IT professional to see if these blocks can be temporarily lifted for the competition or plan to use unrestricted equipment, like home computers or computers at public libraries, for the more advanced challenges.

Note also: Chromebooks won't work beyond level 6 in Game.

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Our mission

To create a platform where every girl who enjoys creative thinking, problem solving, and reading between the lines can explore cybersecurity in a safe, barrier-free environment.

Our supporters

If you require any help or further information please email support@girlsgocyberstart.org and we'll be happy to help.