Eastern Michigan University Digital Dudes Conference gears up to promote STEM exploration for 350 middle school attendees

Two middle school boys are supervised doing a lab experiment at a Digital Dudes event.
(EMU file photo)

YPSILANTI — More than 350 middle school boys and community members will travel to Eastern Michigan University’s campus for the annual Digital Dudes Conference from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024. The one-day STEM exploration event will be held in the EMU McKenny Hall ballroom at 878 W. Cross Street. 

“In southeast Michigan, we have so many great career opportunities for highly skilled people, but we fall short of filling those jobs with local talent,” said Bia Hamed, coordinator of student services for the EMU College of Engineering and Technology, and Digital Divas and Dudes program director.  “I developed this program, especially for middle and high school boys who need to know their educational and career options in STEM.”

Attendees can explore a variety of workshops covering specialized topics such as engineering, coding, nursing, manufacturing, drones, and much more. Students also have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions to network with people currently in STEM college programs and people in STEM careers.

Established in 2019, this is the fifth year Digital Dudes has hosted a series of programs to encourage middle and high school boys to pursue careers in STEM. The event's programming enables participants to embrace STEM in the future by exploring conferences, mentoring opportunities, presentations, and summer camps.

Digital Dudes' mission is to provide a platform for middle and high school boys to explore careers in STEM by:

  • Introducing young men to careers in technology
  • Encouraging enrollment in technology-related majors
  • Breaking down stereotypes related to tech careers
  • Promoting awareness of safe online interactions
  • Encouraging ethical behaviors in texting, emailing, and social media

Participating schools:

  • Salina Intermediate School- Dearborn 
  • Tecumseh Middle School 
  • Stevenson- Wayne Westland Community Schools 
  • Bryant Middle School- Dearborn 
  • MacArthur K-8 University Academy- Southfield 
  • Boyd W. Arthurs Middle School- Trenton 
  • Star International Academy- Canton 
  • Global Tech Academy- Ypsilanti 
  • Ypsilanti Community Middle School 

The 2024 Digital Dudes Conference is possible thanks to the support of sponsors who share the vision of a more diverse and inclusive STEM community. This year's sponsors are AT&T and GameAbove.

To learn more about the Digital Dudes conference, visit the EMU Digital Dudes homepage. For more information, visit the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology homepage. 


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 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. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

April 10, 2024

Written by:
Nina Scarpelli

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher