Texas rolls out cybersecurity training program for girls

Texas is launching a new initiative aimed at getting high school girls interested in cybersecurity, according to EdScoop.

The program, titled "GirlsGoCyberStart," is a free, online game to encourage students to build cybersecurity skills and learn about the industry. It is supported by the SANS Institute, a national cybersecurity education center.

SANS is recruiting nearly 10,000 high school girls from across the country to play the game, which will run from Feb. 20 to Feb. 25. Girls in grades 9 through 12 may play alone or in teams of up to four people. Prizes include Dell Chromebooks and other technologies, but the top teams will win a free trip to the Women in CyberSecurity Conference taking place in Chicago this spring.

"The nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals," SANS Director of Research Alan Paller said in a press release. "We have new evidence that CyberStart radically improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity field. Women are woefully underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity, but by opening CyberStart to tens of thousands of high school girls we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field."

Texas put its own twist on the program, offering the top three schools in the state with the most participants awards of $1,000, $1,500 and $2,500.

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