Today, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that seven Iowa schools placed in the top 50 rankings in the Girls Go CyberStart competition this year and will be awarded scholarships for advanced education in cybersecurity and other prizes.
In 2018, Iowa had three Girls Go CyberStart teams place in the top 3% of 2,600 participating teams in 15 states. This year there were 120 teams selected for the National Championship of which Iowa had nine teams. An impressive seven out of those nine teams placed in the top 50 rankings and will be awarded cash prizes.
4 Sioux City Career Academy
10 Central Campus High School
21 Abraham Lincoln High School
25 West High School
37 Valley High School
43 Urbandale High School
44 John F Kennedy High School
82 Waukon High School
89 Bedford High School
Girls Go CyberStart is a free, forward-thinking cybersecurity skills program designed to educate and inspire high school girls to discover the opportunities and rewards offered by a career in cybersecurity. It is open to all female students in grades 9 through 12, regardless of their prior knowledge or experience with cybersecurity and information technology.
Playing alone or on teams, participants solve challenges to gain points and advance through levels, earning prizes along the way. In addition to individual prizes, such as trips, gift certificates, and computers, the three in-state schools with the most participants win monetary prizes. Iowa high schools where at least five girls in the Girls Go CyberStart program masters six or more challenges will win access to the full CyberStart game for 50 additional students, extending the competition to both male and female students for the remainder of the year.
Iowa’s students competed against students from 25 other states including: Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn. Del., Fla., Ga., Hawaii, Ind., Maine, Md,, Mich, Mont., Nev., N.J, N.C, N.D., Pa., R.I., Tenn., Texas, Vt., Va., W. Va., and Wyo.
Girls Go CyberStart initiative encourages participants to explore their interests in cyber studies, learn core cybersecurity skills, and build confidence in problem-solving.
“Innovative young Iowans are thriving in national competitions like these which reaffirms the positive transformation taking place within our educational system,” said Reynolds. “Programs like CyberStart support our students’ passion for STEM-related fields, putting them on a path toward cutting-edge careers.”
“I am very proud of the participation and success that Iowa has shown in this program in the last two years. This competition is yet another great opportunity to provide our students with education and experiences that will help prepare them for the jobs of the future in information technology and cybersecurity,” said State CIO Jeff Franklin.
For more information, visit girlsgocyberstart.org and cyber-fasttrack.org. To see the types of challenges the students will face in the games, please visit https://go.joincyberstart.com/.