Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Girls Go CyberStart Initiative - Registration Open

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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; General Business Managers; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators

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The Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science is happy to announce its support and participation in an innovative cybersecurity training partnership with the SANS Institute, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification for professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. The partnership aims to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and identify talented youth in Arkansas.


Open to female high school students, the Girls Go CyberStart initiative encourages participants to explore their interests in cyber studies, learn core cybersecurity skills, and build confidence in problem solving.

Girls Go CyberStart is a free, online game 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.


Though thousands of students participated in the CyberStart program when it was launched in 2017 by the SANS Institute, SANS noticed a notable deficit in participation by young women, who represented only 5 percent of the first-round participants. The Girls Go CyberStart initiative is the direct result of that discovery and is designed to specifically engage female high school students.


In the 2018-2019 school year, 524 girls from 29 Arkansas high schools participated in Girls Go CyberStart and won a total of $7,050 in scholarships and gift cards for themselves and their schools. Teams from Greenbrier and Lake Hamilton High Schools were ranked highest. The Arkansas Department of Education collaborated to encourage young women to register and participate in this exciting opportunity and plans to do so again this year.


Teacher information and student practice programs are available now.  Registration for Girls Go CyberStart is now open, with gaming commencing on January 13, 2020. Additional details and preregistration can be found at


 Additional data on teacher development programs are posted at 


For a quick look at some of the challenges, visit the CyberStart Go website (


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