Posted: May 9, 2019

NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mike Nowatzki, 701.328.2424; Mark Staples, 701.328.2937

 

BISMARCK, N.D. (May 9, 2019) – Gov. Doug Burgum today congratulated the 310 students from 28 schools who participated in the Girls Go CyberStart program. In its first year participating in the innovative online cybersecurity program, North Dakota had the highest number of participants per capita out of 26 states participating.

“These students will use their newfound skills in whatever career path they choose,” Burgum said. “It’s exciting to see the level of engagement from across the state with regard to learning 21st century skills such as cybersecurity. These kinds of innovative learning opportunities help students solve real-world problems, gain new skills and work as a team to accomplish goals.”

“Technology is changing every sector of North Dakota’s workforce, and today’s students need an education that prepares them for their future,” State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said. “These competitions are fun ways for young women (and men) to explore and learn about cybersecurity.”

Three schools also received cash prizes for the highest level of participation in the state:

  • Red River High School was awarded $1,000 for engaging 81 girls.
  • Flasher High School was awarded $750 for engaging 33 girls.
  • Williston High School was awarded $500 for engaging 25 girls.

College students may also participate in Cyber FastTrack, which started April 5 and concludes Sept. 16. This college version of Girls Go CyberStart is open to all college students and offers real-world cybersecurity experience with $2.5 million in scholarships available. For more information, visit https://www.cyber-fasttrack.org/.

“Given North Dakota’s focus on cybersecurity, and our first-in-nation unified approach to cybersecurity as a state, we’re especially thrilled with the impressive level of involvement by students and teachers,” Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley said. “We look forward to continued engagement with all of our partners on these valuable opportunities.”

Participation in the programs is aligned with the state’s “K-20W Initiative.” This collaborative effort involves more than 40 public and private sector partners helping provide computer science and cybersecurity training and resources to North Dakota’s educators and students. For more information, click here. May 6-10 is National Teacher Appreciation Week.

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