GirlsCode: Intro to Cyber Security

BY: JESSICA KIM

On Halloween, WiCS hosted Girls Scouts for GirlsCode: Intro to Cyber Security – a series of workshops about cryptography, personal websites, and hacking. GirlsCode is a part of InspiHer which is an initiative to encourage and expose local girls to computer science.

For the cryptography workshop, we explained how cryptography came to be and why cryptography is necessary. Cryptography is the study of secret communication. The WiCS mentors went through step-by-step on how to encrypt and decrypt messages. With this new knowledge, the Girls Scouts tackled various examples of encrypted messages and even made their own encrypted messages to each other! It was really motivating to see how determined the Girls Scouts were to learn and implement a concept that they just learned!

Cryptography Workshop

Intro to Cryptography Slides

The next workshop was helping the Girls Scouts make their own personal websites. First, the WiCS mentors went through basic html to demonstrate how to create a bare website. Then, we taught the Girls Scouts how to make their websites more dynamic and engaging by adding CSS. Some Girls Scouts even went above and beyond the basics and started adding videos and pictures to their websites!

Girls Scouts making their own personal websites!

At the last workshop, the Girls Scouts took on hacking! By following directions on a website about hacking, they were able to “hack” the website by changing the text, resizing images, and redirecting links to different sites. The Girls Scouts even got a sneak peek into javascript! Additionally, the parent chaperones also got into the workshop and tried out some hacking.

How to Hack Website

Finally, to end GirlsCode, we held a WiCS panel and Q&A. WiCS mentors talked about their experiences with Computer Science, and why they decided to learn it in college. Also, each WiCS mentor gave their own advice about college in general and high school. The Girls Scouts also asked questions about their own interests and curiosities.

The WiCS mentors from left to right (Karen Her, Audrey Liu, Jessica Kim, Julia Chun, Sally Kong, Kelly Tan, Rachel Han)

GirlsCode was a fantastic day that allowed the Girls Scouts to be exposed and learn more about Computer Science. One memorable Girls Scout even said that she could imagine herself doing Computer Science for the rest of her life!

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