More than 250 Colorado Girl Scouts in grades 6–12 gathered at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton on Saturday, October 19, 2019 for the first-ever Cyber Challenge! Girl Scouts of Colorado, along with Girl Scouts of the USA, teamed up with Raytheon to give girls the opportunity to detect, decode, and defend as part of a full-day, scenario-based STEM competition specifically designed for them. The event happened at the same time as nine others around the country. At each one, middle school and high school Girl Scouts learned crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes. The challenges were based on a fictional scenario in the year 2050: Humans have colonized the moon and a ransomware attack has targeted the colony’s water supply. The girls had to work together as part of an incident response team to find out who hacked the system and how to stop them. The goal of the day’s activities was to prepare girls to pursue computer science careers in industries including cybersecurity, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence.
Girl Scouts also heard from keynote speaker, Whitney Orndorff, a tactical analyst with the Denver Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She works to combat human trafficking and child exploitation crimes. Girl Scouts also networked with Raytheon employees and learned about careers in STEM.