Montpelier, Vt.: Office of the Gov reports 2.20.2019 – Governor Scott today announced that Vermont will partner with the SANS Institute to bring the Girls Go CyberStart challenge to Vermont for a second year, providing high school girls with cybersecurity skills and career exploration opportunities.

Girls Go CyberStart is a free, forward-thinking cybersecurity skills program designed to educate and inspire high school girls about the opportunities and rewards of a career in cybersecurity. In the program, students complete games and challenges in which they learn and apply cybersecurity skills including forensics, open-source intelligence, cryptography and web application security

In 2018, 46 girls in schools across Vermont participated, and the State hopes to triple that number in 2019. Schools with at least five participants who master six or more of the challenges will win access to the full CyberStart Game for 50 additional male and female students for the remainder of the school year. Participants can also win cash prizes for themselves and their schools (at least 10 Vermont high school girls will win $500 college scholarships).

“As we work to expand our labor force and prepare Vermonters with the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, programs like Girls Go CyberStart are critical in providing valuable learning opportunities,” Governor Scott said. “This partnership with the SANS Institute will strengthen Vermont’s skilled cybersecurity workforce, attracting Vermonters to this important sector of our economy that protect our state’s critical assets.”

This year, college students will also be able to play in a companion program called Cyber FastTrack, with a chance to win advanced cybersecurity scholarships totaling $2.5 million, as well as internship and job opportunities with employers in the industry.

“The development and enhancement of cybersecurity capabilities throughout Vermont is one of the Agency’s strategic priorities to modernize government and protect Vermonters,” said Agency of Digital Services Secretary Quinn. “Bringing Girls Go CyberStart and Cyber FastTrack to Vermont provides young people with the opportunity to join in our efforts.”

Registration for Girls Go CyberStart is open to high school girls in grades 9-12 through March 20 when the games begin. Registration for Cyber FastTrack is open to college students beginning on April 5 to begin playing immediately. Participants must have access to a computer and the internet, but no prior cybersecurity knowledge or IT experience is needed.

To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, please visit https://go.joincyberstart.com/. More information may be found at https://www.girlsgocyberstart.org for Girls Go CyberStart and at https://www.cyber-fasttrack.org for Cyber FastTrack.