CompuGirls Hawaii announces free virtual spring program


A Zoom collage screen of participants in a high school STEM program

Participants of the CompuGirl Hawaii fall cohort 2020.

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Hawaiian girls in grades 8-12 are invited to apply for the CompuGirls Hawaii Spring Camp 2021, a free virtual program aimed to introduce and educate Hawaiian girls underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to cybersecurity and information technology.

CompuGirls Hawaii is an affiliate of COMPUGIRLS, a national program focused on increasing opportunities for girls of color in the fields of science and technology that was founded by ASU Professor Kimberly Scott.

Participants of CompuGirls Hawaii will take part in nine, two-hour sessions on Saturdays from Feb. 20 to April 24 and will be provided with full access to the curriculum and activities. The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 12.

The nine-week course continues the accumulation of cybersecurity knowledge, skills and experiences that started with the multi-year program in the fall of 2020. Throughout the virtual camp, students solidify their understanding and definition of cybersecurity, collaborate with peers and learn how to use ciphers to solve problems while sharing their knowledge within their community. Nearly 50 girls attended the fall camp and have been invited to return to continue their cybersecurity education along with additional girls from the islands of Hawaii.

The spring camp will include the use of innovative technologies, such as Gather.Town, a virtual space for students to interact more effectively online by combining video calling with a 2D map, and micro:bit, a pocket-size computer that introduces how software and hardware work together. In addition, students will be introduced to cryptography: the practice of encrypting and decrypting data; the role of ciphers in cybersecurity: guessing the cipher key to reveal encrypted data; whether cracking ciphers is ethical; and much more.

“CompuGirls Hawaii provides Hawaii girls with the unique opportunity to explore cybersecurity and IT with access to mentors, job shadowing and industry internships. Following the success of our fall 2020 program, we look forward to welcoming a new spring cohort and engaging students in new activities, while connecting them with local leaders and exploring possible career paths.” 
— 
Jodi Ito, chair of CyberHawaii and chief information security officer of the University of Hawaii

Registration for CompuGirls Hawaii Spring Camp 2021 is free and open to Hawaiian girls, grades 8-12. Students who do not have access to a laptop with USB ports and/or Wi-Fi must indicate that in their application, and devices will be provided to them for the duration of the program. To register, visit cyberhawaii.org/compugirls.

The inaugural CompuGirls Hawaii fall cohort was led by Hawaii public school teachers selected as mentor-teachers to implement the curriculum and be responsible for student academic growth. The fall cohort had 49 students representing Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Hawaii Island, with a large number identifying as Native Hawaiian or having more than one ethnicity.

CompuGirls Hawaii Logo

CompuGirls Hawaii is an affiliate of COMPUGIRLS, a national program focused on increasing opportunities for girls of color in the fields of science and technology. The program was developed in partnership with CyberHawaii, the University of Hawaii, Arizona State University Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology and the Defense STEM Education Consortium. The goal of CompuGirls Hawaii is to introduce Hawaiian girls, from populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM, to cybersecurity and IT as a field of study and viable career path.

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