Girls Go CyberStart in NC

You Might Have a Talent for Cybersecurity, But How Would You Know?

Girls Go CyberStart 2020 is an innovative competition for high school girls to discover their talents and learn about cybersecurity through a free, online game of fun cyber challenge.

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About the Program

About the Program


Girls Go CyberStart encourages high school girls to explore the exciting career opportunities in the field of cybersecurity through a free online game consisting of a series of challenges that put students in the role of a cyber protection agent charged with solving realistic problems and puzzles.

Playing alone or on teams, participants across the United States solve challenges to gain points and advance through levels, earning prizes along the way. Prizes include college scholarships, internships and jobs.

Girls Go CyberStart is broken into three stages. In Stage 1, girls participate in a fun online tryout called CyberStart Assess. Those who complete five challenges move on to Stage 2 CyberStart Game, where they master the techniques needed to compete in an online game of Capture the Flag in Stage 3 CyberStart Compete.

Boys can also discover their interest and learn with CyberStart Game. Clubs that have five girls who qualify for CyberStart Game also earn additional non-competition licenses for boys or other girls in their school.

Get Involved

Get Involved

Girls Go CyberStart is open to girls in grades 9-12. Students can participate at both home and at school, or wherever an internet connection is available. Players (and their teachers) do not need knowledge or experience in IT or cybersecurity to participate.

What kind of challenges will there be?

  • Cryptography
  • Web attacks
  • Forensics
  • Programming
  • Linux

Visit to see the types of challenges students will face in the games.

Who Should Participate?

Students should play Girls Go CyberStart if:

  • They like solving puzzles.
  • They are curious about cybersecurity.
  • They like winning prizes for you and your school.

Additional Details

  • Registration for Girls Go CyberStart opens Dec. 2, 2019, with online gaming beginning Jan. 13, 2020. Additional details and preregistration can be found on the Girls Go CyberStart website.
  • Teacher information and student practice programs are available now and posted on the Girls Go CyberStart blog.
  • To organize for Girls Go CyberStart, an adult leader forms a club for their school or organization, and registers girls into that club. The leader acts as a communication portal for the girls as they work through the three Girls Go CyberStart stages, track scores and earn prizes.
  • Girls Go CyberStart activities are all online, girls can work together in their club or solve challenges individually at home – or both.
CyberStart 2020 Schedule

CyberStart 2020 Schedule

Oct. 16 to Dec. 1, 2019

Cyber Encounters, a noncompetitive program of teacher outreach, teacher development and student practice to prepare for the competitions

Dec. 2, 2019 to Feb. 14, 2020

Registration and pre-competition learning and practice

Jan. 13-April 24, 2020

Girls Go CyberStart Competition, divided into three stages:

  • Stage 1: CyberStart Assess (Jan. 13-Feb. 14, 2020)
    In this initial set of 15 challenges, students take on a set of fun, interactive challenges that represent realistic scenarios and threats faced by practitioners in the field of cybersecurity. Each girl must solve a minimum number of challenges to qualify for Stage 2.

  • Stage 2: CyberStart Game (Feb. 10-April 17, 2020)
    Students take on the role of a security agent to gather information, crack codes, find security flaws and dissect a cyber criminal’s digital trail. Clubs with the highest overall performance in this stage qualify for Stage 3.

  • Stage 3: CyberStart Compete (April 23-24, 2020)
    Five to 10 top-scoring clubs in each state are invited to select four girls to play as a team in an online Capture the Flag competition. Teams compete against all other schools nationally to win first-, second- and third-place.

April 28, 2020

Winners announced

CyberStart 2019

CyberStart 2019

North Carolina was one of 27 states participating in Girls Go CyberStart 2019.

  • Girls Go CyberStart 2019 involved 672 girls participating from 77 North Carolina high schools.  
  • By solving a lot of challenges in Round 1, 252 of the North Carolina high school girls qualified for the Game stage.
  • Sixteen high schools had enough qualifying girls that they each won 50 game licenses for the boys in their schools – meaning 1,052 North Carolina students had the chance to explore and learn through CyberStart Game.   
  • Through hard work, six North Carolina high schools qualified for the National Finals Championship: Enloe High School (Raleigh), N.C. School of Science and Mathematics (Durham), Panther Creek High School (Cary), Riverside High School (Durham), Tri-Code Girls Club and Union Pines High (Cameron).
  • Enloe High School, the North Carolina state winner, ranked fifth in the nation.  Panther Creek ranked 11th and the Tri-Code Girls Club ranked 14th
  • Ten North Carolina girls had individual high Game scores that qualified them for $500 college scholarships.
  • A total of $8,550 in cash prizes and scholarships was awarded to North Carolina players and their schools.
Related Links Contact


For questions about Girls Go CyberStart, please contact:

Maggie Bizzell
N.C. Department of Information Technology
Office of Communications