October 31, 2017

Area middle school girls to get a vivid look into STEM careers at Digital Divas event Nov. 3 at Eastern Michigan University

Program offers hands-on experience in activities such as cyber safety, Google coding, drones and gaming

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University College of Technology believes recruiting and supporting the young women the U.S. needs in the fast-growing technology and computer science fields requires commitment, leadership and coordinated efforts. Those initiatives must come from educators, relevant organizations and the business community.

Such is the thinking behind the seventh annual Digital Divas fall event, to be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 in the EMU Student Center. About 250 middle school girls are expected to attend the event. EMU also holds a Digital Divas event in the spring, directed at high school girls.

Creating awareness of STEM careers for girls

Students work on a computer at a previous Digital Divas event.

“It is important for girls today to realize all the college majors and careers in STEM that are available – careers that can lead to great pay and a rewarding life,” said  Bia Hamed, coordinator for student services in the College of Technology. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young girls that are interested in the STEM field to engage with speakers and participate in breakout sessions.”

EMU alumna Cindy Angiulo, a cyber security expert from Mercedes-Benz Financial, will serve as the 9 a.m. opening keynote speaker, discussing safe behaviors online. Robin Batten, from the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, will also address that topic.

Digital Divas’ mission is to provide a venue for connecting middle and high school young women and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is accomplished by:

  • Introducing young women to careers in technology.

  • Recruiting young women into technology majors in post-secondary education.

  • Breaking down gender stereotypes regarding tech careers.

  • Creating awareness of safe online interactions.

  • Encouraging ethical behaviors in texting, emailing and social media.

Schools and groups represented at this event some will include Detroit Public Safety Academy, Boyd W. Arthurs Middle School, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Emerson Middle School, South Canton Scholars, Stout Middle School, Tecumseh, Steam West Middle School, Whitmore Lake Jr. High, Old Redford Academy Middle School, and more other metro Detroit Schools.

Breakout sessions include drones, cyber security boot camp

Businesses and organizations supporting this year’s Digital Divas will be DTE Energy, ITC, Consumers Energy, AT&T, LLama Soft, Fresh Thyme, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Ann Arbor Branch, Inc (AAUW), Nexcess, and Eastern Michigan University.  

The program will include breakout sessions, demonstrations, lunch and the keynote address.    

Breakout sessions will include:

• Lightning strikes STEM

• Honoring the Work of the Citizen Scientist, Erin Brockovich

• Unmanned Aerial System (drone) Sector

• Experimental Game Lab

• Made With Code: Learn About Code with Google

• Title: Cyber Security Boot Camp

• Digital Decisions: A Cyber Safety – Choose Your Own Adventure Game

• Fashionology – There is more to IT than beautiful clothes!   

• Let’s do Diva idol

• Lightning strikes them

• EMU campus tours

To keep up with this event you can follow #DigialDivasEMU2017 on Instagram.  For more information on this event and other related programs, please visit the Digital Divas website

For further information, contact Bia Hamed at  734-487-8659 or email bia.hamed@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 21,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 200 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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