Burgum Encourages High School and College Students to Join Innovative Cybersecurity Competition

Governor Doug Burgum 

Gov. Doug Burgum today announced the state’s participation in an innovative, online cybersecurity competition and encouraged high school-aged women to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating.

The 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program is a series of online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as cryptography and digital forensics. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to participate. The program, sponsored by the SANS Institute, is free for schools and students, and all girls in grades 9-12 are invited to play.

North Dakota high schools where at least five girls in the Girls Go CyberStart program master six or more of the 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 school year. Students will also have the opportunity to win cash prizes for themselves and their schools. At least 10 high school girls who do well in the game will receive $500 scholarships to help pay for college. The three North Dakota high schools with the most participants will win awards of $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively.

“This exciting program builds on our statewide efforts to provide students innovative learning opportunities and technology skills that will be relevant to students in any career path,” Burgum said. “These competitions offer fun activities for young women and men to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”