Girls Go CyberStart

Girls Go CyberStart logo 
Girls Go CyberStart, offered by the SANS Institute, is a program which encourages high school girls to explore computer science and cyber security careers through hands-on activities. It is an online series of challenges that allows students to act as cyber protection agents to solve realistic problems and explore topics such as cryptography and digital forensics. All girls in grades 9-12 are invited to play, regardless of their prior knowledge or experience with information technology. Girls can play alone or in teams to solve challenges to gain points and advance through levels, earning prizes along the way. The three high schools in West Virginia that have the most participants will win awards of $1,000, $750, and $500, respectively. The registration period is from December 2, 2019 to January 31, 2020. From January 13 through January 31, girls can participate in CyberStart Assess, an initial set of 15 fun and interactive challenges that must be completed to qualify for the full program. The second round, the CyberStart Game, will open on February 10, 2020. For more information about Girls Go CyberStart, visit their website.

For both male and female students who attend college in West Virginia, there is an opportunity to participate in a program called Cyber FastTrack. Students who excel in the Cyber FastTrack Game and CyberStart Essentials will be eligible to win $2.5 million in scholarships for advanced cyber security training and will be introduced to employers for internships and jobs in the field. Last year students from 924 colleges across 27 states participated in the program. Registration will open soon. More information about this program can be found here.

There is no charge to participate in either of these programs. Samples of Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack game challenges can be found here. If you have questions about participating in either of these programs, contact the Cyber Security Office at

  • The leaderboard that will show live data for Girls Go CyberStart during the competition can be found here.
  • A blog about CyberStart Assess, the first stage in the CyberStart program, is available here. The blog can provide more information on Girls Go CyberStart.
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