Registration has officially launched for the third running of the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge, a national competition that encourages girls to pursue cyber-based learning and career opportunities.
Indiana is one of 40 states participating in the contest, which will take place January 13.
Girls Go CyberStart is open to female students in grades 9-12 that can participate for free, either as individuals or as part of a school-based team.
The contest centers around challenges and online cybercriminal gangs that participants take on as agents in the Cyber Protection Agency. Through the game, they will develop forensic and analytical skills that they will use to crack the cases.
The challenge also seeks to address the national shortage in computer science and cyber trained workers and encourage girls to be engaged with cybersecurity.
As they level up in the game, players will be challenged to solve puzzles and be introduced to multiple cybersecurity disciplines, including forensics, open-source intelligence, cryptography and web application security.
At last year’s challenge, more than 10,300 girls participated, including more than 800 Hoosier high school students and four teams from Indiana scored among the top 50 high schools nationally.
This year, the program has expanded to 38 states, and the organization provides free cybersecurity resources to interested schools and teachers.
“Training young Hoosiers in cybersecurity and tech-based skills is essential to improving Indiana’s cyber-resiliency for decades to come,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Indiana is a proven leader in cybersecurity, and our state is committed to providing the skills and opportunities Hoosiers need to pursue fulfilling careers in this high-demand field.”