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CyberStart America: A free computer science/cybersecurity program for afterschool

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CyberStart America: A free computer science/cybersecurity program for afterschool

By Kate Straus, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.

The digitized and online world we now live in has revolutionized how we work, seek entertainment, stay informed and connect with each other. Unfortunately, it has also revolutionized how cyber criminals can target us!

Whether temporarily shutting down a major oil pipeline or stealing patient data from hospitals, cyber threats have become a globally significant issue. Due to this growing threat, cybersecurity stands out as one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors, creating a globally widening skills gap that the industry is desperate to fill.

That's where CyberStart America comes in.

As part of the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation’s wider initiative, CyberStart America (CSA) is a free national program helping to close the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States.

CSA aims to inspire every high school student in the US to give cybersecurity a try. By providing free access to an immersive, gamified learning platform, CSA motivates high school students to explore the exciting opportunities cybersecurity has to offer.

One CSA student says, "CyberStart America has been an incredibly fun and rewarding program. I started from knowing absolutely nothing about cybersecurity. CyberStart America has taught me everything from the ground up. You get to learn incredible skills in a fun and interactive way (not in a textbook) by learning from some of the best."

So far, CSA has opened the door for thousands of young people to discover their talent for cybersecurity, advance their skills and win scholarships and prizes. And the best part is, this fun, accessible and even life-changing opportunity can start in your afterschool club!

CSA is easy to use in afterschool clubs and is powered by the fun and gamified CyberStart platform. With CyberStart:

  • Students learn real-world skills like coding, programming, password cracking and digital forensics through over 200 exciting cybersecurity challenges.
  • The accessible platform provides fun and challenge to students of all abilities.
  • All learning resources are built by cybersecurity experts, ensuring that students gain top-quality and industry-relevant skills.
  • Students can learn about new concepts and get help with challenges in CyberStart's Field Manual.
  • Students can collaborate on solving puzzles, build leaderboards to race for points and track each other's progress.
  • You don't need cybersecurity expertise to implement CyberStart America at your club, as CyberStart's all-in-one platform does the work.
  • All students need to get involved is a facilitator who can offer the space and computers.
  • Many students who never thought they'd enjoy or be good at cybersecurity have gone on to find a passion and enjoy continuing the challenges in their own time.

It's Easy To Get Started

  1. Share the opportunity with students throughout your school or afterschool club
  2. Join CSA and start playing straight away by registering for free on the website
  3. Monitor students' progress through the challenges as they play
  4. Relax as the all-on-one platform does the rest

High school students aged between 13-18 years old in the United States can join the CyberStart America program for free today. Learn more about CyberStart America.

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