MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Participates in National Cybersecurity Opportunity for Young Women in High School

To help educate more young women about the opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, Governor Janet Mills, the Maine Office of Information Technology, and the Maine Department of Education are promoting ‘GirlsGoCyberStart’, an exciting national program that uses online games of discovery to introduce high school girls to the field.

“Cybersecurity is a growing and critical field. It is more important than ever before to train skilled experts in Maine and across the nation to defend our national and financial security,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This program will help young women pursue the education and training they need for lifelong careers and leadership positions in cybersecurity.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Maine students to showcase the incredible skills and talent they have acquired from the many computer science initiatives, programs, and curricula happening in schools throughout Maine,” said Maine Education Commissioner A. Pender Makin.

CyberStart was created by the SANS Institute and was first piloted to youth in the summer of 2017. The program enabled 3,500 students nation-wide to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity, yet only five percent of the students who participated were young women.  The results of the pilot sparked the GirlsGoCyberStart program, specifically designed to interest young women in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.

This will be Maine’s second year participating in the GirlsGoCyberStart.  Last year, nearly two hundred students from all over Maine participated in the event and placed in the top 100 of all participating state teams.

“We are excited to join this wonderful opportunity to expand our talent pipeline by engaging young people interested in learning more about cybersecurity and directing them to the appropriate training and career coaching,” said Ande Smith, acting Chief Information Officer for the Office of Information Technology.

Maine students who participate in GirlsGoCyberStart will be doing so alongside students from Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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 who excel in the GirlsGoCyberStart game will have the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes.  The website for registration opens on February 18, 2019. More information about the program and eligibility can be found at CyberStartUS.

For more information about Maine’s participation in the program, contact Dr. Kelly Samson-Rickert, Director of Workforce Innovations for the Maine Office of Information Technology at Kelly.Rickert@maine.gov or 207-624-9965.

MLTI T-shirt Design Competition Accepting Entries Until April 12, 2019!

The Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) has hosted a design challenge for years. Students were asked to submit original works of digital art that could be used as screensavers. Twenty winners were chosen, and those images were used as screensavers on thousands of student laptops across the state each year. This was a way to celebrate the varied ways students could create with the MLTI technology and share with others across the state.

This year, the MLTI still wants to encourage students to create digital art and share it widely, however instead of a screensaver challenge, we will be hosting a T-shirt Design Competition. A panel of judges will narrow the submissions down to five designs, and then we will ask Maine students and educators to vote for their top choice. The winning T-shirt will be printed for the 1000+ attendees of the 16th Annual MLTI Student Conference, which will be held on Thursday, May 23rd at the University of Maine in Orono. Additionally, based on design submissions, up to 20 students will be selected to receive free registration to the conference.

Eligibility:

  • Any student who attends an elementary, middle, or high school in Maine during the 2018-2019 school year is eligible to enter the competition.
  • Students may work in teams, but the design must be an original piece of artwork created only by eligible students.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All submissions must be an original artwork. Any use of any photo, drawing, images or elements created by any other person (other than the MLTI logo) is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification.
    • Please adhere to the guidelines for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regarding copyright and plagiarism: Even if you have permission to use a work or if the work is in the public domain, the work that you submit to this competition must represent a new, original work. Additionally, changing the medium of an original work is not considered transformative. For example, a painting or drawing of a photograph taken from the Internet or a magazine is not considered original and should not be submitted.
  • Each student or team may only submit one entry.
  • The artwork should be sized to 81/2” x 11”.
  • Students may hand-draw or digitally design their artwork.
  • Digitally designed artwork should be 300 dpi, RGB color, and the fonts must be embedded.
  • Submitted artwork must incorporate the phrase “MLTI Student Conference” and the year “2019” or “’19”.
  • Students must incorporate the MLTI logo into their design: downloadable files or by copying and pasting this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI_logos.
  • The design should reflect this year’s conference theme and include the text: “#Create4ME.” We are celebrating the power of students to create innovative solutions to challenges in Maine or the spirit of entrepreneurism that is found in many Maine communities. Technology often plays a role in that creation, but doesn’t need to be depicted explicitly.
    • Optional: Students may submit an artist statement (less than 200 words) with their design to help bring clarity to their adherence to the theme.
  • Acceptable file types: PDF or JPEG high resolution.
  • Color: T-shirts are one solid color with one color ink, and the student can suggest the color for each.
  • The t-shirt design must fit on the front of the t-shirt.
  • Signed Release: Each student must sign this release and include it in their submission. If the link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste this link: http://bit.ly/MLTI2019T-shirtDesignCompetitionRelease

Judging Criteria

  • Guidelines: Work clearly adheres to the submission guidelines.
  • Theme: Work has represented the theme “Create for ME” or “Create4ME”.
  • Principles of Design: Work incorporated the following elements of art: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity.

Timeline:

  • Competition opens: February 5th, 2019
  • T-shirt designs due: April 12th, 2019 (no late entries will be accepted)
  • Finalists selected and notified: April 18th, 2019
  • Voting opens: April 19th, 2019
  • Voting closes: April 30th, 2019
  • Winner Announced: May 1st, 2019

Ready to enter the competition?

Submit your entry with this form or copy and paste this link:

http://bit.ly/MLTITshirtCompetitionSubmission2019

For more information or answers to questions, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Teacher of the Year Nominations Open Until February 4th

As a reminder, nominations are still open 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year Website. The Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine have been accepting nominations since January 4, 2019. Nominations will remain open until 5:00 pm Feb. 4, 2019.

Seeking Success Stories from Maine Schools

In an effort to help promote and highlight the positive stories, initiatives, and efforts happening in Maine’s local schools, the Maine DOE will be collecting stories from local schools and districts and sharing them in a new section of the Weekly Maine DOE Update called Maine Schools Sharing Success. Each of the stories will also be highlighted on Maine DOE’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

If a school and/or district would like to contribute a story, please write out a few paragraphs, with photos if applicable, and send them via email to Rachel Paling at (207) 624-6747 or rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced that high school students Mr. Joseph Eugene Bergeon and Mr. Jay Raj Philbrick will join Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 57th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 2 — 9, 2019. Joseph Bergeon of Kennebunk and Jay Philbrick of Limestone were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Joe Bergeon, a senior at Kennebunk High School, serves as a student representative on the Maine R.S.U. 21 Board of School Directors, and is a member of the Class of 2019 Executive Council. He was also the 77th youth governor of the Maine YMCA Youth in Government program. During the summer of 2018, he was sponsored by Senator Susan Collins and served as a United States Senate page. Joe is active in his school’s debate team and is a member of the varsity swim team. He hopes to pursue a degree related to international studies and business.

Jay Philbrick, a junior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as the treasurer of the Student Senate, and leads by serving as head tutor in his school’s Learning Center and president and founder of his school’s High School Quiz Show Maine team. Jay has been recognized for his academic talents as well through his selection as a Michael P. Fabio grant winner and as a finalist for the Lemelson-MIT grant award. He believes that a degree in economics can help shape a better understanding of public policy and may serve him in a future in public office.

Chosen as alternates to the 2019 program were Ms. Lauren Cooper, a resident of Dover-Foxcroft, who attends Foxcroft Academy and Mr. Logan Holt, a resident of Brunswick, who attends Brunswick High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after being nominated by teachers and principals. For more questions about the process please visit: www.ussenateyouth.org.

For questions about Maine’s delegates, alternates, or state selection process contact Joe Schmidt at joe.schmidt@maine.gov or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program, contact Program Director, Ms. Rayne Guilford at rguilford@hearstfdn.org or (800) 425-3632.