High school girls are discovering their talent for cybersecurity with Girls Go CyberStart

Our free digital program gives girls the skills they need to succeed

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Join now and your school could win up to $1,350 in cash prizes!

Run a Girls Go CyberStart Club at your school to access free cybersecurity learning resources, increase your students' employability, and have some great fun! As well as the chance to win cash prizes for your school, you'll be helping to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity agents and doing your bit for the nation.

Bring Girls Go CyberStart to your School

High school teachers across the US can help find the next cybersecurity superstars by becoming Advisors and running a Girls Go CyberStart Club in their school. Over 10,000 high school girls have taken part and loved the Girls Go CyberStart program so far!

"I saw girls consider the field of cybersecurity that never thought about it before. The sheer impact of this program is mind-boggling!"

Tiffany D, Alabama, GGCS Advisor

What is a Girls Go CyberStart Advisor?

If you work in education and are interested in helping girls discover their potential, you’d make a great Advisor! An Advisor’s job is simply to set up a Girls Go CyberStart Club at their school or organization and encourage their students to join. You don’t need any technical skills or experience, just a passion and enthusiasm for helping students.

The registration process to start a Club is quick and simple. The first stage of the program, CyberStart Assess, is now open and your students can start playing as soon as your Club is formed. Everything’s completed online, so you can spend as much or as little time as you have helping your students complete the challenges!

What will my students learn?

By the end of Girls Go CyberStart, students will have delved into disciplines such as cryptography, digital forensics and open source intelligence gathering and more. The program get increasingly difficult, but the first stage is designed to be accessible to anyone to uncover hidden superstars with natural ability.

Language, STEM and Computing students often excel in cybersecurity, alongside people who love solving puzzles. But don’t forget your students who prefer geography, history and drama – they could uncover a talent they never knew they had and open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Track your State's progress

You can follow your State as it climbs the leaderboard and see how your Club can help push it up the ranks here.

"Girls Go CyberStart helped reignite my passion for teaching during my 20th year in the classroom. I run a small IT program at a low-income school; it takes a lot of work to get kids into something like this. Girls Go CyberStart did that."

Rick S, Alabama, GGCS Advisor

Why join Girls Go CyberStart?

By running a Club at your school, you can:

  • Win up to $1,350 for your school. Find out more.
  • Access hundreds of hours of digital content to educate your class.
  • Help bridge the cybersecurity skills gap.
  • Introduce girls to an industry they may not have considered.
  • Give your students the chance to win up to $500.

Got more questions? Check out our FAQ section below.

Key dates

Advisors register and set up their Club
December 2, 2019 – January 31, 2020
CyberStart Assess
January 13 – January 31, 2020
CyberStart Game
February 10 – April 17, 2020
CyberStart Compete
April 23 – April 24, 2020
CyberStart students

"Girls Go CyberStart REALLY made a big impact on my daughter! The first year, she had zero experience in computer coding or cybersecurity. After competing, she decided to take AP Comp Sci A. Not only did she earn the scholarship from you, she also secured a summer internship next year at the NJ Cyber Security Office!"

Parent of Previous Participant

Key stages and dates

CyberStart Assess

Open from January 13, 2020 to January 31, 2020

Girls will take on a set of fun, interactive challenges that represent realistic scenarios and threats faced by practitioners in the field of cybersecurity. Students who solve 5 or more challenges will qualify for CyberStart Game

Win rewards

For every girl who qualifies for CyberStart Game, your Club will receive 1 entry into a prize draw for a chance to win $1,000. The draw will take place at the end of Assess and 3 lucky schools will be awarded $1,000 each!

CyberStart Game

Open from February 10, 2020 to April 17, 2020

A gamified environment where students play as “Cyber Agents” solving digital crimes by gathering information, cracking codes, finding security flaws, and dissecting a cyber criminal’s digital trail. Clubs with the highest overall performance in Game will qualify for CyberStart Compete.

Win rewards

For every five girls who qualify for CyberStart Game, we will offer non-competitive game licenses for any student, regardless of gender, to learn about cybersecurity. So, more students will be able to discover their interest in the field.

National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart

Open from April 23, 2020 to April 24, 2020

Top scoring clubs in each state will be invited to select four girls to play as a team in CyberStart Compete, an online Capture the Flag competition. Teams will compete against all other schools nationally to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place National and State titles along with prizes and recognition from their Governor.

Win rewards

Top scoring teams nationally:

  • 1st prize = $400 per team member and $250 for their school
  • 2nd prize = $300 per team member and $250 for their school
  • 3rd prize = $200 per team member and $250 for their school

Top scoring teams in each state:

  • 1st prize = $100 per team member and $100 for their school
  • 2nd prize = $75 per team member and $100 for their school
  • 3rd prize = $50 per team member and $100 for their school

Want to try something right now?

Head over to CyberStart Go, a tool we built to give you a quick sample of what CyberStart Assess and Game are like. It's free to use and features over a dozen challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's a Club?

A Club is a way to associate all of the girls competing in Girls Go CyberStart from your school. It's used to achieve eligibility for CyberStart Game and for selecting a team for CyberStart Compete.

We aren't a school - may we create a Club?

A Club may be associated with any (public or private) school or any youth organization, including Girl Scouts, the YWCA, or a homeschool association.

What is a Club Access Code?

After you have registered to run a GGCS Club, you will need to create a Club Access Code to be able to invite students to join your Club.

Your Club Access Code is a set of 4 randomly generated words that will be unique to your Club. You will need to share this code with your students so that they can join your Club after they register for GGCS. Each Club Access code can be used 100 times before it expires. After this, you can generate a new code through your GGCS dashboard.

Which students can participate?

To be eligible to participate, students must:

  • Identify as female.
  • Be at least 13 years old on December 2, 2019.
  • Be enrolled in 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade at a public or private school (or the homeschool equivalent).
  • Join a Girls Go CyberStart Club.

May a school have more than one Club?

More than one Club is permitted per school; however, qualification for CyberStart Compete is on a school-by-school basis. This means if your school qualifies for the Capture the Flag, you must select 4 girls across all Clubs in your school. When registering as an advisor from a school with more than one Club, please make sure you check the box that allows us to contact you about other students and/or Clubs participating from your school.

What is a Capture the Flag?

‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) cybersecurity competitions don’t involve first-person shooters or running around outdoors. Instead, cybersecurity CTF’s involve a set of computer security puzzles and challenges that test your skills in areas such as reverse-engineering, memory corruption and cryptography. When a challenge is solved, it gives the players a flag — a secret string of code that can be exchanged for points. The more points, the higher the team moves up in rank.

What equipment will I need?

For CyberStart Assess:

  • A computer or Chromebook.
  • A reliable Internet connection.
  • Chrome or Firefox browser (including access to the developer tools within the browser - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities).

For CyberStart Game (stage 2):

  • A computer with VMware or Virtual Box, in order to run the CyberStart Virtual Machine for Game. Early levels of Game do not require the virtual machine but you will need this to play beyond Level 5 and try the forensics challenges.
  • Unrestricted access to browser developer tools/settings - example: View Source or Inspect Element or scripting abilities.

Note: Many school computers have restrictions that limit access to the browser tools functions. Check with your school IT professional to see if these blocks can be temporarily lifted for the competition or plan to use unrestricted equipment, like home computers or computers at public libraries, for the more advanced challenges.

Note also: Chromebooks won't work beyond level 6 in Game.

If you require any help or further information please email support@girlsgocyberstart.org and we'll be happy to help.