Eastern Michigan University's Digital Divas Program, CODE 313, and PNC Foundation create two all-girl high school esports teams in Detroit

New collaboration encourages students to explore technology through electronic sports

A young black woman is wearing headphones while playing a video game in an esports setting with many computer terminals all around.

YPSILANTI – The Digital Divas program at Eastern Michigan University’s GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology is teaming up with CODE 313 and PNC Foundation to create two all-girl esports teams for high school students in Detroit. Through this collaboration, students will have the opportunity to explore areas of STEM through the world of competitive gameplay. CODE 313 and Digital Divas are currently accepting applications. 

These organizations were brought together by their shared purpose of encouraging students’ exploration in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Digital Divas program was founded in 2010 with the mission of encouraging girls to explore the areas of STEM. CODE 313 was established to enrich children in computer science education like coding, cybersecurity, robotics and virtual reality among others. They are collaborating for the first time ever to encourage girls to explore technology through electronic sports. 

"Esports opens up many doors," said Bia Hamed, EMU’s director of K-12 STEM outreach and Digital Divas program director. "Due to the Early College Alliance’s success, we are learning that esports helps girls embrace gaming as well as guide their future paths in technology. As a result, they are more likely to choose a STEM major in college or even go to college."

The girls will meet mostly in a virtual environment for practices. Students will have waived league fees and receive free materials such as a laptop, gaming mouse, headset, gaming software. According to Hamed, the girls will be improving skills such as hand-eye coordination, time management, communication, teamwork and critical thinking. 

“We set students up for success,” said Hamed. “Giving a student their own technology allows them to embrace the experience even more and show them other careers in STEM.” 

Students can apply to the team at the Virtual STEAM experience Friday, Feb. 18 at the Detroit Piston’s practice facility. This experience will showcase a variety of STEM-based activities hosted by CODE 313 and the Detroit Pistons. Students can also fill out an application online at https://code313detroit.org/diva/

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; 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.

January 26, 2022

Written by:
Victoria Scott

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher