DigiGirlz Returns to Wilmington University’s Dover Campus, May 8, 2018

DigiGirlz Returns to Wilmington University’s Dover Campus, May 8, 2018
Hands on Tech Day for 8th and 9th Grade Girls

DOVER, Del. — Girls in the 8th and 9th grades are invited to spend a fun-filled day learning about careers in technology and getting an inside glimpse of what it might be like to work in the technical fields. DigiGirlz Day is designed to encourage young women to explore the possibilities available in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

“More than ever, Delaware’s ability to compete economically is based on our ability to innovate and ensure our workforce has the technology-based skills demanded by today’s employers,” said Governor John Carney. “DigiGirlz provides a great opportunity for young women to explore a variety of STEM careers paths. I am excited that Delaware again is partnering with Microsoft, Dell, JP Morgan Chase and others to engage Delaware’s young women to explore technical careers.”

“Part of my job as CIO is to work to ensure the cyber workforce of tomorrow is available to develop and protect our information systems. That is why I get so fired up about programs like DigiGirlz that offer a free and fun way for young women to explore different STEM fields in an enjoyable and encouraging environment,” said Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins. “It is imperative to plant the seed early and provide students a variety of opportunities to discover and grow into their potential. We appreciate all of our partners who have come together in support of this initiative to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM.”

DigiGirlz is May 8, 2018 at Wilmington University’s Dover Campus starting at 8:30 am. It is free and open to 8th and 9th grade girls (ages 13-15) in Delaware public, private, charter and home schools. New this year are special sessions for teachers and other adult chaperones interested in tech education. Individual students are also encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is mandatory and lunch will be provided.

This year’s DigiGirlz Day features several different career track explorations including: Game Creation, Cyber Defense, CyberStart, NSA Day of Cyber and more. Girls will participate in hands-on activities including writing code for a simple video game, exploring the science behind creating beauty products, or learning about the tools professionals use to fight computer hackers. New this year will be roundtable discussions with female professionals in the STEM-related careers.

Recognizing that young women historically shy away from STEM education, especially as they enter their high school years, DigiGirlz is created to address some of the myths and misconceptions about careers in more technical industries. Through lively discussion and interactive activities, the event is aimed at encouraging young women to put aside concerns about their ability to pursue education and careers in technical fields.

DigiGirlz is sponsored by Delaware’s Department of Technology and Information, Microsoft, the Delaware Center for Educational Technology, Wilmington University, Delaware Department of Education, JP Morgan Chase, and Dell.

Registration information can be found at https://digiknow.dti.delaware.gov/pages/DigiGirlz/2018/default.shtml


About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information
The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

DigiGirlz Program Contacts:
Claudette Martin-Wus, DTI
(302) 739-9636, claudette.martin-wus@state.de.us
Elayne Starkey, DTI
(302) 739-9631, elayne.starkey@delaware.gov

About Wilmington University
Wilmington University is a private, non-profit institution committed to providing career-oriented, traditional and online associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The Wilmington University difference starts with our flexible, year-round class schedules, full online learning capabilities, and one of the lowest tuitions in the tri-state region. Combined with our intense focus on academic excellence and individualized attention to our students in our degree and certificate programs, the WilmU difference is reflected in our students’ achievements and our alumni’s successes. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at infocenter@wilmu.edu, or visit www.wilmu.edu.

Governor Carney Expands Open Data Council

Executive Order 18 expands the Council to include all Executive Branch agencies

Governor Carney signs Executive Order 18, expanding the Open Data Council


WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Monday signed Executive Order 18, expanding the Delaware Open Data Council to include members from all Executive Branch agencies to promote data sharing. The Governor was joined by members of his Cabinet, technology entrepreneurs and Open Data advocates at The Mill in Wilmington for the Executive Order signing.

The Council brings together a team from state government focused specifically on making more data available to members of the public via the state’s Open Data Portal which streamlines access to public information and enhances government transparency. Established by Executive Order 57 in October 2016, the Open Data Portal is a centralized website that connects the public with non-identifiable public data across state agencies and provides interactive features that allow users to browse and sort information. The public can utilize more than 200 data items through maps, charts, and graphs to visualize it in new and innovative ways. Since its launch, the Open Data Portal has had more than 3.5 million page views. Eleven new data sets were added last year, including Delaware business licenses and air quality monitoring, among others.

“Open Data and data sharing are an integral part of government transparency, efficiency and accountability,” said Governor Carney. “Expanding the Open Data Council to include members from all Executive Branch agencies will help facilitate the work we’ve begun through the Family Services Cabinet Council, and allow us to share and analyze data to effectively deliver services and allocate resources for Delawareans.”

The Delaware Open Data Council, which will now include members from 18 state agencies and offices, is charged with making data available to the public, establishing a statewide data strategy, and recommending standards and policies governing the posting of public data and data sharing among state agencies.

Governor Carney

“Our state agencies have a vast treasure trove of data and we can tap into that potential to help solve real-world problems, improve the delivery of government services and enrich the quality of life for Delaware’s citizens,” said Chief Information Officer James Collins. “Great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere. By making this information available to everyone we create even more opportunities for innovative solutions.”

“Open data is all about building partnerships and using the power of information to fill the gaps between state agencies, community groups, businesses and the average Delawarean,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The best ideas require collaboration to come to fruition, and I’m proud that the Department of State is a part of the next wave of new thinking in Delaware.”

“Over the past two years, Open Data Delaware has been excited to see the State’s commitment to open data grow,” said Ryan Harrington of Open Data Delaware. “In those two years, we have seen Delaware transition to a system that makes it easier than ever for anyone to access critical information about the state, giving advocates the opportunity to improve their communities and entrepreneurs more resources to grow companies. The inclusion of every Executive Branch agency into Delaware’s Open Data Portal furthers the ability for people to gain the information that they need to build upon this work.”

“Tech Impact is proud to support Governor Carney and his administration in expanding the Open Data Council,” said Tech Impact Executive Director Patrick Callihan. “Delaware has taken a leadership role in exposing data sets and enabling a transparent government. Some of that data has already been used to create public and social benefit for the state and this greater commitment will surely increase the opportunities to develop solutions to some of our most difficult social issues.”

Members of the public are invited to recommend additional datasets for inclusion in the Open Data Portal by visiting data.delaware.gov/nominate.


Delaware Announces Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Young Women

Girls Go CyberStart offers online cybersecurity training, prizes for Delaware young women in grades 9-12

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) James Collins announced on Monday an innovative cybersecurity training partnership between the SANS Institute and the State of Delaware that provides young women in high school interested in a cybersecurity career the opportunity to discover their aptitude and learn basic cybersecurity skills through a no-cost online game of discovery called Girls Go CyberStart.

“The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated and I encourage young women in Delaware high schools to take advantage of this opportunity to explore career options in this vital field,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware needs a pipeline of talent and a strong workforce to remain competitive in the innovation economy. We are excited to continue our partnership with the SANS Institute.”

Last summer, Delaware was one of seven states to partner with the SANS Institute to pilot CyberStart, a program designed to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while identifying talented youth. The program enabled 3,300 students in seven states to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity. However, only five percent of the students who participated in CyberStart’s first round were young women. In Delaware, 359 students enrolled in the practice round.

Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute on this initiative to give more talented young women in Delaware high schools an opportunity to explore a career in cybersecurity. The Delaware Department of Technology and Information is partnering with the Department of Education and a variety of organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, to support and encourage as many young women as possible in high school today to register to participate in this exceptional opportunity.

“We applaud the SANS Institute for recognizing the importance and value of a diversified workforce and for working to provide creative opportunities for young women to learn more about careers in cybersecurity,” said CIO James Collins. “Girls Go CyberStart is a fun way for young women to test their skills to find out if they a talent or interest in becoming a cybersecurity professional at no cost. This is a fantastic opportunity and we encourage all our high school-age, young women to take advantage of it!”

Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Anne T. Hogan noted, “Girls are natural-born scientists, which is why we introduce Girl Scouts of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help them see how they can improve the world. At Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, we have been on the forefront of STEM programming for young woman, and are very excited to bring Girls Go CyberStart Challenge to our high school-age Girl Scouts. This program will allow girls to learn by doing, develop important problem solving and leadership skills, and take the lead on their futures.”

Registration will begin on January 29, 2018 and end on February 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by the deadline can play the game online from February 20 through February 25. More details about the program can be found at GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school in Delaware who excel in the Girls Go CyberStart game will have the opportunity to win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference.

Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting an important operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. A cyber protection agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise, and hints are available to help when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens up and new challenges appear – for a total of 10 levels.

Young women in Delaware high schools will participate alongside students from Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.

When asked why SANS is partnering with Delaware in Girls Go CyberStart program, SANS Director of Research Alan Paller said, “Because the nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have evidence that CyberStart improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity field. Further, the two best cyber intrusion analysts I have ever met were named Vicki and Judy, but women are woefully underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity. By opening CyberStart to thousands of high school girls we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”




For more information about cybersecurity and Girls Go CyberStart, visit digiknow.dti.delaware.gov or GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Related news:
Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation
Governor Carney Launches “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge at Secure Delaware 2017
Governor Carney Signs Legislation Extending Cybersecurity Protections for Delawareans
Governor Carney, Chief Information Officer Announce Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Students

Delaware Receives UPenn Technical Assistance Grant to Develop Integrated Data System

Grant will help Delaware support high-risk youth and families in Wilmington, and bolster work of Family Services Cabinet Council

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Wednesday that Delaware has received an 18-month training and technical assistance grant from the University of Pennsylvania’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) Integrated Data System Learning Community to help develop an integrated data system across state agencies.

The system will help Delaware coordinate services and support young people and families in Wilmington who are at high risk of violence, and bolster the ongoing work of the Family Services Cabinet Council. Delaware was among six county and state governments to receive the technical assistance grant.

“We re-established the Family Services Cabinet Council to make sure that state agencies are working together more effectively, coordinating services on behalf of Delaware families we serve, and delivering results,” said Governor Carney. “The Council is helping confront some of our most challenging issues – including ways to break the school-to-prison pipeline, expand job training, and reduce crime in our neighborhoods. An integrated data system will help us more effectively target our resources, and reach the kids and families who need our help the most.”

“We are excited to be awarded this technical assistance grant from UPenn’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, and a board-certified family physician. “This is the technical expertise we need to help make an integrated data system a reality in Delaware, and to help us support the young people in Wilmington who are at high risk for street violence and their families. Being able to see the full picture of the services that young people and their families are receiving and their interactions with the system will help us develop interventions that are coordinated and appropriate for each family.”

Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services will join other state agencies in working with the AISP Learning Community to plan for the implementation of an integrated data system that will establish linkages across multiple stand-alone government data systems. The technical assistance, which will begin in March 2018, will include in-person training, an online learning platform, and a full evaluation of the AISP program at the end of the 18 months. The training will cover governance of integrated data system, legal agreements, data integration and linking procedures, and identifying and carrying out research priorities.

The Data Working Group of the Family Services Cabinet Council, chaired by Secretary Walker, is comprised the eight FSCC agencies including the Department of Technology and Information (DTI). The working group is engaged in the early stages of the development of an integrated data system, drafting necessary data sharing agreements, and creating a vision for the system. The data working group is carrying forward the recommendation of the CDC report on gun violence in Wilmington. The working group also is partnering with CompassRed, a Wilmington-based data and analytics company, to identify the data needed for analysis to provide actionable, data-driven information back to DHSS that can be used to provide the right services to the right families.

“The goal is to increase collaboration between state social service agencies by developing the capacity to link and share data between agencies,” said James Collins, Chief Information Officer for the State of Delaware. “This will enable predictive analytics to better reveal which families and individuals are most at risk and deliver relevant information to social service agencies so they can respond more quickly with appropriate resources.”

The other county and state governments awarded Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy technical assistance grants are Baltimore and Miami-Dade counties and the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Vermont.


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Governor Carney Opts-In to Federal Plan to Improve Broadband Network for First Responders

Delaware’s approval allows FirstNet to move forward with plan to build communications network for emergency personnel

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney signed a letter on Friday opting into a federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plan to build a wireless broadband network intended to improve communications for first responders across the State of Delaware.

The FirstNet plan would allow Delaware police agencies, fire and EMS responders to communicate more effectively by prioritizing their cellular phone calls and data requests on the network. Governor Carney’s decision to opt-in allows FirstNet to move forward in building out a broadband network that, if implemented, would allow for efficient communications among emergency responders.

“Our first responders need access to state-of-the-art technology to communicate and respond effectively during emergency situations,” said Governor Carney. “This is only a first step, but this plan has real potential to prioritize communications among law enforcement agencies, fire and EMS personnel, and help our first responders protect the lives of Delawareans across our state.”

“During a critical incident or disaster, cellular communications are of paramount importance to our first responders,” said Robert Coupe, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “We are excited by the opportunity presented by this FirstNet plan, which would ensure that first responders have the priority access they need to deliver emergency services to the citizens of Delaware.”

“In addition to the potential benefits opting in to FirstNet can provide to our public safety personnel, this decision also helps us to advance our priority of expanding broadband options in rural, underserved areas of our state,” said James Collins, Chief Information Officer at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Authorized by Congress in 2012, its mission is to develop, build and operate the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. FirstNet will build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband communications network at no cost to the state.