Delaware is 1 of 15 states invited to participate in the new GirlsGoCyberStart initiative launching in February.
GirlsGoCyberStart is similar to last summer’s CyberStart program that offered local high school juniors and seniors - and First State college students - the opportunity to learn basic cyber security skills.
The difference is the emphasis - according to Elayne Starkey - chief security officer for the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
"It is intended to inspire and encourage high school girls to think about a career in cyber security,” said Starkey.
Starkey says participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience - just a computer and an internet connection.
“The whole idea is for it to be a game and a series of challenges. And what it will do, it will give them a chance to determine if they have the aptitude and if they have the problem-solving skills and many of the other skills that are needed for a good cybersecurity analyst or professional,” Starkey said.
Starkey says students who do well in the GirlsGoCyberStart game can win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 20-18 Women in Cybersecurity Conference.
Registration runs from January 29 to February 16. The first 10,000 students who register can play the game online from February 20 through 25.