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!
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!
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.
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
"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
Open from January 13, 2020 to February 14, 2020
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.
There are two chances to qualify; score 5 by Friday 7 February to play Game from Monday 10 February OR score 5 by Friday 14 February to play Game from Monday 17 February.
For every girl who qualifies for CyberStart Game, your Club will receive 1 entry into a prize draw for a chance to win $1,000. The draw will take place at the end of Assess and 3 lucky schools will be awarded $1,000 each!
Open from February 10, 2020 to June 30, 2020
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.
For every five girls who qualify for CyberStart Game, we will offer non-competitive game licenses for any student, regardless of gender, to learn about cybersecurity. So, more students will be able to discover their interest in the field.
Open from May 20, 2020 to May 21, 2020
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.
Top scoring teams nationally:
Top scoring teams in each state:
Our mission in Girls Go CyberStart is to support young women to develop their creativethinking, problem-solving skills and explore cybersecurity in a safe, barrier-free environment.
With the events taking place in the world right now, we don’t want it to affect your progress, or to reflect on what you could achieve. Which is why we are making some changes to our program, to ensure you can get everything you need, no matter where you are.
Changes to our selection criteria
With schools closing we know that students may have trouble accessing resources, and teachers, to be able to continue learning. And that can make it a lot harder to make progress through Girls Go CyberStart. We want to make sure that students who would have been able to qualify for the National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart 2020, without these disruptions, still get the chance to participate. For this reason we are changing the criteria to qualify for our National Championship.
Changes to the National Championship dates
So many girls have put in a a huge amount of effort and commitment to reach this stage and we don’t want the recent events to limit anyone’s ability to qualify and participate. For this reason, we are extending the calendar for the National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart 2020.
Extending your access to CyberStart Game
We will be extending your access to CyberStart Game until June 30. We want to make sure that you have a brilliant resource open to you to keep your cyber-savvy minds alert. Making sure you have the resources you need to build your skills is important to us, and we don’t want you to have any barriers to your learning.
For some resources and tips for how to continue playing Girls Go CyberStart at home, check out our blog.
We hope these changes mean you are supported, able to develop your cybersecurity skills and most importantly have fun during this difficult time! If you have any questions around the new program changes, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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:
For CyberStart Game (stage 2):
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.
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.