HARTFORD - As the need for workers in manufacturing and STEM careers continues to increase, Gov. Ned Lamont has announced he is encouraging young women in Connecticut high schools to participate in the 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program.
The competition is an opportunity to explore young women’s aptitudes for cybersecurity and computer science. The program is an initiative of SANS Institute, a cybersecurity company.
Girls Go CyberStart is a competition across the country with the objective of inspiring young women to explore careers in the field of cybersecurity.
Students and their teachers are not required to have knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part on the program. Participating students must have access to a computer and internet connection. The program is free for all high schools and their students.
Ten Connecticut high school students will receive $500 scholarships for taking part in the program. “The fields of computer science and cybersecurity are growing in demand, and we do not want our next generation of young women to be left out of this conversation,” Lamont said. “Exposing students to technology from an early age is the best way to engage them in considering this field as a career.”
Participating students will act as cyber protection agents to solve cybersecurity related puzzles through the CyberStart game, an online series of challenges. Students will also be exposed to relevant topics including digital forensics and cryptography.
“The reality is that there currently aren’t enough women in STEM fields,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said. “This competition is a great opportunity to encourage girls and young women in Connecticut to pursue high-paying careers in cybersecurity and computer science. With more women working in STEM, we can begin to erase the gender pay gap.”
High schools in Connecticut in which at least five young women in the Girls Go CyberStart Program master six or more of the challenges will win access to the full CyberStart game for their entire school, allowing male and female students to take part in the competition for the rest of the school year. Cash prizes for individual students and their schools can be accessed through the competition.
College students of all genders can also play CyberStart this year. The college program is called Cyber FastTrack and it also serves as a pipeline to $2.5 million in scholarships for programs in advanced cybersecurity, internships and jobs.
Girls Go CyberStart registrations are open through March 25. College student registration for Cyber FastTrack will be open on April 5.
For more information about Girls Go CyberStart visit girlsgocyberstart.org and to learn more about Cyber FastTrack, visit . Visit for examples of the types of challenges the students will face in the games.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.