Girls Go CyberStart

Fayetteville High School recently ranked in the top in the SANS Institute’s Girls Go CyberStart Competition — an innovative competition designed to encourage girls and women to explore careers in cybersecurity.

West Virginia participated for the second consecutive year in the SANS Institute’s Girls Go CyberStart competition, and three high schools found themselves in the top 100 at the end.

Kicking off in March with 9,500 girls from 27 different states, this year’s competition was free to high school girls in grades 9 through 12.

As part of the competition, each player started as a “cyber agent” responsible for protecting an important operational base. The student selected a storyline and earned points by solving a series of cybersecurity-related puzzles, deciphering cryptography, applying research, and using other skills to solve challenges.

Upon earning enough points, the player then moved up to the next level of play with new challenges.

From the schools with the highest scoring participants, 120 teams compromised of four girls each were chosen to compete in the national online “Capture the Flag” competition for a chance to win prizes and college scholarship money, including Fayetteville High School.

Upon completion, Fayetteville High School ranked 72nd.

No experience in information technology or cybersecurity was required to participate, and girls were able to participate from home, school, or both.

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