July 23, 2024
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Governor Murphy Encourages Participation in ‘Girls Go CyberStart’ Competition

(Courtesy of njohsp.gov) State Governor Philip D. Murphy is urging New Jersey’s high school girls to participate in the 2020 Girls Go CyberStart challenge, a skills-based competition designed to encourage high school girls to pursue cyber-based learning and career opportunities. This innovative program, created by the SANS Institute, inspires the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and recognizes talented youth in New Jersey through a series of online challenges and puzzles. Registration for Girls Go CyberStart opens on Dec. 2, with online gaming commencing on Jan. 13.

“Competitions like Girls Go CyberStart have a profound impact on the participation of girls in the cybersecurity field,” Murphy said. “As we strengthen New Jersey’s industries through recruitment of talent, we must ensure those industries reflect the diversity and inclusivity of the state. Representation matters, and this program is an excellent example of how we can provide underrepresented groups an entryway to a world of career possibilities.”

Girls Go CyberStart is open to all female students in grades nine through 12, regardless of prior experience or knowledge of cybersecurity. It comes at no cost to the students or schools. Participants solve challenges to advance through levels, earning prizes along the way. In addition to individual prizes, the three New Jersey schools with the most participants win monetary prizes. High schools where at least five girls master five or more Girls Go CyberStart challenges will win licenses to the CyberStart Game that extends the opportunity to additional male and female students.

“The State of New Jersey is thrilled that we have been able to provide opportunities for our high school girls to explore what a career in cybersecurity entails through the Girls Go CyberStart program,” said Michael Geraghty, director of the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell. “The feedback we have received from the girls who have participated, their teachers, and their parents has been overwhelmingly positive. As New Jersey’s chief information security officer, I can attest to the fact that the challenges presented in Girls Go CyberStart are realistic and mimic the real-life cyber challenges that cybersecurity professionals handle daily.”

Students interested in participating do not need any programming or cybersecurity experience, only access to a computer and internet connection. To help teachers and students gain confidence before the competition begins, webinars and practice resources will be available at www.medium.com/girls-go-cyberstart/mrsgcyberstarttips/home.

Additional details and pre-registration for the competition can be found at www.girlsgocyberstart.org.

To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, please visit www.go.joincyberstart.com.

For more information, please contact NJOHSP’s communications team at [email protected].

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