Girls Go CyberStart in North Carolina

Girls Go CyberStart in NC

Registration for Girls Go CyberStart opens January 29 for female high school students (grades 9-12).

Register and more information

Girls Go CyberStart Coming to North Carolina

Girls Go CyberStart is a fun and interactive cybersecurity competition involving 16 states and one U.S. territory, that offers girls enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school or the homeschool equivalent the chance to explore exciting topics such as cryptography, programming and digital forensics.

Important deadlines

Registration opens January 29 and closes February 16. Be sure to register your team account and reply to all confirmation emails during the registration period. Girls Go CyberStart is limited to the first 10,000 girls to complete team registrations.

Who can play?

To be eligible to play in Girls Go CyberStart, you must be:

  • Female
  • Enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school or the homeschool equivalent
  • A resident of North Carolina

Curious? Check out some Girls Go Cyberstart Challenge Teasers!

What other states are participating?

Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Girls Go CyberStart?

What is Girls Go CyberStart?

Girls Go CyberStart is a fun and interactive cybersecurity competition, held in 16 states and one U.S. territory, that offers girls enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school or the homeschool equivalent the chance to explore exciting topics such as cryptography, computer programming and digital forensics. The CyberStart Program was established in 2017 by SANS, one of the world's top organizations in training information security professionals, and the governments of seven states, as way to attract and begin training a next generation of cybersecurity professionals by holding game-based competition between students around the country.

Who can play?

Who can play?

To be eligible to play in Girls Go CyberStart, you must be:

  • Female
  • Enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school or the homeschool equivalent
  • A resident of North Carolina
OK, what do I need to play?

OK, what do I need to play?

  • A love of solving problems, working through challenging tasks, and learning new skills
  • A team of 1-4 girls from the same school
  • An advisor (any teacher, administrator or staff person employed full-time by your school with an official school email address)
  • A computer, internet access, and Chrome or Firefox
  • For harder challenges: the ability to install/run VMWare Player or Virtual Box on the computer
What are these "games" exactly?

What are these "games" exactly?

Girls Go CyberStart teams will be given challenges covering several areas, including:

  • Cryptography: Challenges will teach students the differences between encoding and encryption, as well as steganography, the art of hiding information's very existence.
  • Web Attacks: Students will learn how websites are structured and how hackers exploit them.
  • Computer Forensics: Challenges will focus on file forensics, teaching students how to recover data from files and present what they have found.
  • Programming: Students will learn the differences between types of computer languages, how to use variables, and how to define functions.
  • Linux: These challenges teach students how to use the terminal so that they can use the same security tools that experts work with on a daily basis.
Hang on! I don't know Linux, and I don't know computer coding!

Hang on! I don't know Linux, and I don't know computer coding!

That's normal, fine, and expected.

No prior computer knowledge is needed, and students from all educational backgrounds are welcome. If you enjoy solving problems, working logically through challenging tasks and learning new computer skills, CyberStart is for you.

You said something about "prizes?"

You said something about "prizes?"

The team that solves the most problems within the competition time will be the winner. If more than one team solves all of the problems, then the team that solved the problems in the shortest amount of time will be the winner.

  • Top three scoring teams overall
  • Individual States 1st Prize
    • Each team member will receive a new Chromebook and a $50 gift certificate.
    • The school will receive a prize of $1,500.
  • Individual States 2nd Prize
    • Each team member will receive a Raspberry Pi with Touch Display and a $50 gift certificate.
    • The school will receive a prize of $1,000.
  • Individual States 3rd Prize
    • Each team member will receive BeatsX wireless earphones and a $50 gift certificate.
    • The school will receive $1,000.
  • All players will receive Girls Go CyberStart pins for each level completed.
  • All players will receive category stickers for every type of challenge category solved.
Who can be a school advisor?

Who can be a school advisor?

Any teacher, administrator or staff person employed full-time by your school qualifies as an advisor.

Once the team is created, an email will be sent to the advisor asking for confirmation that all team students are currently enrolled in the school and that their name and graduation year is accurate.

An advisor can be used by more than one team. In other words, there is no limit to how many teams the staff member can confirm for their school.

Further, advisors do not need any knowledge of computers or cybersecurity because advisors do not help or participate in solving challenges during Girls Go CyberStart. However, they will be required to confirm the eligibility of registered players.

More questions?

More questions?

Email maggie.bizzell@nc.gov at the NC Department of Information Technology, or email support@girlsgocyberstart.com.