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.
www.dti.delaware.gov

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.


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


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.

 

###


Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation

Governor Carney, Chief Security Officer Elayne Starkey recognized by SANS Institute with 2017 Difference Makers Award

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) Elayne Starkey on Friday received the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award by the SANS Institute.

The Difference Maker Awards recognize individuals “whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.”

“I am honored that Delaware has been acknowledged as a leader across the nation in cyber security awareness, education, and training,” said Governor Carney. “We need to continue to encourage students to explore careers in cyber security to ensure that we have a pipeline of talented professionals available in this high-demand field. We appreciate the SANS Institute for partnering with us to help make that a reality.”

In July, the State of Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute to provide Delaware high school juniors and seniors, and college students from Delaware or attending a college in Delaware, the opportunity to learn basic cyber security skills. Students test their aptitude through a no-cost online game of discovery called CyberStart. After a qualifying practice round, students were able to compete for scholarships.

CSO Elayne Starkey and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information led Delaware’s enrollment efforts.
“This is such a special award and I am deeply grateful that Delaware’s leadership, especially Governor Carney and Chief Information Officer James Collins, have made cyber security and developing our workforce a top priority,” said CSO Elayne Starkey. “It truly is a collaborative effort that would not be possible without our partners, sister state agencies, and staff. Many thanks to the SANS Institute for recognizing Delaware’s cyber security efforts.”

Highlights of Delaware’s participation in the CyberStart program:

  • 359 Delaware students enrolled in the practice round within two weeks.
  • 47 percent of the students qualified for the CyberStart Game.
  • Delaware students competed with approximately 3,300 other students from Virginia, Michigan, Rhode Island, Iowa, Nevada, and Hawaii.
  • Four Delaware high school and college students were in the top 50 nationally.
  • 20 Delaware students won CyberStart scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Over the last year, Governor Carney took additional action to expand cyber security career exploration for Delaware students by signing into law House Bill 15, legislation that requires public and charter high schools to offer at least one computer science course.

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, Governor Carney announced the launch of Delaware “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, which designed a free statewide program to ignite interest in cyber security among the state’s youth. The program enables students to test drive occupations with the fully-funded online cyber security career exploration platform. The Governor made the announcement at the 2017 Secure Delaware Workshop, an event that highlights the importance of cyber security training for government, businesses, and citizens to strengthen our readiness and response posture.

###

Related

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


Governor Carney Launches “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge at Secure Delaware 2017

Challenge launched during National Cyber Security Awareness Month to ignite student interest in the high-demand cyber security field 
 

DOVER, Del. — As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Governor John Carney on Wednesday joined Delaware Department of Technology and Information’s (DTI) Chief Information Officer James Collins and Chief Security Officer Elayne Starkey, as well as representatives from the Delaware Department of Education and National Security Agency (NSA), a host of cyber security subject matter experts, and over 400 attendees at the 2017 Secure Delaware Workshop to highlight the importance cyber security training across all lines of government, business, and citizens to strengthen our readiness and response posture.

CIO James Collins, DTI; Christine Parker, NSA; Deputy Secretary of Education Karen Field Rogers, DOE; CSO Elayne Starkey, DTI, Governor John Carney; and Kim Paradise, LifeJourney, take a photo in front of a DART bus promoting cyber security.
CIO James Collins, DTI; Christine Parker, NSA; Deputy Secretary of Education Karen Field Rogers, DOE; CSO Elayne Starkey, DTI, Governor John Carney; and Kim Paradise, LifeJourney, take a photo in front of a DART bus promoting cyber security.

During the event, Governor Carney announced the official launch of the Delaware “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, a free statewide program designed to ignite interest in cyber security among the state’s youth by enabling them to test drive occupations with the fully-funded online cyber security career exploration platform.

“Cybercrime is one of the greatest threats to our nation and we live in a world where we increasingly rely on electronic information storage and communication that must be protected,” said Governor Carney. “The importance of cyber security cannot be overstated, and Delaware’s innovation economy needs a talented pipeline of cyber security professionals. Delaware has always sought to take a proactive stance in protecting the online information of our residents, businesses and employees, and I am excited that we are partnering with NSA and LifeJourney to host the NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge for Delaware students to promote interest among the state’s youth in this cutting-edge field.”

“Organizations are having difficulty hiring cyber talent, and many positions are going unfilled. The ‘Day of Cyber’ Challenge provides an exciting platform for Delaware students to start thinking early about cyber security and related fields so we can better prepare them to have the foundation they need to compete in an increasingly globalized workforce,” said Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education.

Rick Geritz, CEO of LifeJourney, the company that created the NSA Day of Cyber program said, “Cyberspace technology is young and changing at rapid pace, that is why it is so important to have a trained workforce to defend us in cyberspace. Governor Carney’s leadership to prioritize cyber security skills will not only accelerate Delaware’s workforce but also serve as model for the nation.”

The Secure Delaware Workshop, hosted by DTI, the Greater Wilmington Cyber Security Group, Delaware League of Local Governments, Delaware Technical and Community College, and the Delaware Small Business Development Center was held at the Dover Downs Conference Center in Dover. Additional agenda topics ranged from current trends, managing risk and federal/state cyber security policies to privacy issues, malware detection and emerging technologies such as block chain.

“The safekeeping of our state’s enterprise systems and protection of our citizens’ information is a top priority,” noted DTI Chief Information Officer James Collins. “The Secure Delaware Workshop brings together the best and brightest in the field of cyber security to provide training for anyone — resident, student, business, government or employee —to learn how to defend yourself, your family, your employer, your business, and the citizens of Delaware against cyber-attacks.”

To sign up to participate in the Delaware “Day of Cyber” challenge, visit Bit.ly/DEDayofCyberChallenge. To learn more cyber awareness and resources available to prevent cybercrime, visit digiknow.dti.delaware.gov.

 

###

About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information
The Delaware 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 innovative enterprise services enabling other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

About NSA Day of Cyber
The NSA Day of Cyber, sponsored by the National Security Agency and powered by the LifeJourney technology, is an online, self-guided career exploration and mentorship platform that enables students to test-drive cyber careers and live a day in the life of six leading NSA cyber professionals. Each student will receive a Cyber Resume and Certificate of Completion signed by the NSA. The NSA Day of Cyber experience is available, at no cost, to be run by schools and organizations anytime throughout the year. Schools, teachers, organizations, parents and students can register at http://nsadayofcyber.com.

About LifeJourney
LifeJourney ™ is the leader in cyber security and STEM online career exploration and simulation. A web-based tool for the classroom that enables students to explore, discover and test-drive exciting careers  of America’s STEM and Cyber security leaders, and thus become informed and inspired to follow the related STEM pathways to achieve those futures. The LifeJourney experience enables teachers to directly connect what they are teaching in the classroom to what students learn through the tools and technologies of organizations defining the workforce needs of tomorrow. www.lifejourney.us.

###