Students at The Priory have spent the last several months cracking cybersecurity code under the guidance of their advisor Mrs. Danelle Landgraf. Earlier this month, the girls were very excited to learn that they qualified again for the National Championship for Girls Go CyberStart (NCGGCS) 2020! Girls Go CyberStart provides a gamified environment where students play as “Cyber Agents” solving digital crimes by gathering information, cracking codes, finding security flaws, and dissecting a cyber criminal’s digital trail. The program’s website states that there is a shortage of cybersecurity experts in the U.S. and that these skills ensure a safe place for Americans to live, work and play online.
The four highest-scoring members, juniors Erica Query and Fay Cordeiro and seniors Emma Fong and Devyn Chun, participated in a capture the flag style competition starting at 3 a.m. on May 20 and going to 2:30 p.m. on May 21, 2020. It was a hard competition and even harder not being able to collaborate in person as a team. Out of the nine teams representing Hawaiʻi, the girls placed 3rd.
Senior Emma Fong plans to major in Computer Science when she goes to college. "I'm really interested in is Computer Science, so Girls Go Cyberstart gave me the opportunity to practice and learn new skills in cybersecurity. I enjoyed the variety of challenges, making it an engaging way to learn more about the field of cybersecurity and more," she said.
Landgraf is happy to expose students to the field and adds that it is a well-desinged program that is a great way to get the students interested because it is fun. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to be exposed to computer science, especially cybersecurity and see that they can code,” Landgraf said. “I also wanted to spark interest in computer science because it is one of the fastest-growing fields.”