Nearly 400 area middle school girls to get a vivid look into STEM careers at Digital Divas event Nov. 2 at Eastern Michigan University

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 10/31/2018 - 14:17

Program seeks to increase interest among young women in STEM careers; students from Detroit, Southfield, Farmington, Hazel Park, Saline and Hartland among attending schools


YPSILANTI – Create your own mobile app. Learn how to navigate the social challenges of social media. Design your own cool fashion using 3D technology. What’s it like to work at Google? How do you develop software? Those are among the hands-on activities in cyber safety, Google coding, drones and gaming that middle school girls from across southeast Michigan will experience at this year’s Digital Divas event on the campus of Eastern Michigan University.


The eighth annual Digital Divas fall event, to be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center.


The EMU College of Technology is hosting the event, in the strong belief that recruiting and supporting the young women the United States needs in the fast-growing technology and computer science fields requires commitment, leadership and coordinated efforts. The COT notes that such initiatives must come from educators, relevant organizations and the business community.


Nearly 400 middle school girls are expected to attend the event. EMU also holds a Digital Divas event in the spring for high school girls.


“It is important for girls today to realize all the college majors and careers in STEM that are available – careers that can lead to excellent pay and a rewarding professional life,” said Bia Hamed, coordinator for student services in the College of Technology. “Women from industry and from the university come together to make this day all about girls supporting girls on a platform of technology-helping each other to rise and succeed.”


Breanna Vertkin a software engineer at Duo Security, will serve as the 9 a.m. opening keynote speaker, on the topic of “An invitation for young girls to see themselves in Engineering.”


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 the event some will include Girl Scouts Troop 42076. Levey Middle School in Southfield, Saline Intermediate, Farmington Middle School, Detroit Public Safety Academy, Wagar Middle School, Beach Middle School, BW Arthurs Middle School, Tecumseh STEM East, Hartland Middle School, Hazel Park Junior High, Emerson School, and others.


Businesses and organizations supporting this year’s Digital Divas include Consumers Energy, The DTE Foundation, AAUW, ITC, AT&T, Nexcess, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Fresh Thyme and Eastern Michigan University.  


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


• Be the Boss at a LED Light-up Greeting Card Studio: Have fun learning how LED lights and electronic circuits work, by creating your own winter-themed holiday light-up greeting card.


 • Be a Cosmetics Chemist with Green Ingredients: Students will perform hands-on experiments to create a lip balm and hand cream, and can take them home. Students will be in a laboratory setting learning about the chemistry behind cosmetics.


 • Create your own mobile app: When you think finance, you think money-right? Did you know that Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is on the leading edge of using new technology and trends to appeal to its customers? Join in to find out how to create your own leading edge mobile phone application.


 • Drag, Drop, and Roll with Scratch and OzoBots: Students will learn coding concepts with drag and drop techniques using ozobots and Scratch.


 • Drones, Robotics & Neuroscience: An overview of some of the top emerging STEM-related sectors. There will be hands-on use of drones, robotics and neuroscience technology including the opportunity for participants to control each other's limbs and robotic claws via brainwaves.


• Digital Decisions: Students will choose their own digital adventure story - helping the main character, Jess, a 9th grade student, make decisions as she navigates a digitally connected social life on social media.


• Experimental Game Lab: Design, test, and play computer games with a twist. Students will enjoy a hands-on workshop where they will turn ordinary objects like marshmallows and pool noodles into a game controller.


• Fashionology: This hands-on workshop will involve using patterns from the pattern design software (CAD) used for the fashion industry. Students will develop a simple 3D garment design to take home with them using design technology and creativity.

 • Interior Design: Students will use computer software – Sketchup & Photoshop – to build 3D models of residential houses and render the images.


• Lightning Strikes STEM: Lightning Robotics team will talk about how STEM education and teamwork is promoted through the FIRST Robotics program. Get a chance to drive a robot.


• Made with Code led by Google: Spend time learning about a day in the life of a Google employee and explore how coding is part of everyday life.

• Orthotics & Prosthetics: Learn the basics of orthotics and prosthetics including making a mold of your finger and 3D printing.


 • Software Development is a SNAP: Join female technologists from Duo Security to learn about the software development cycle and the roles that play into it.


• Train to be a ZooKeeper for the GE Zoo: Students will help train animals at the GE Zoo. Students will work in groups to train your selected animal by programming it to complete a set of tasks. At the end of each session, each group will showcase their exhibit to the other trainers.


To keep up with this event you can follow #DigialDivasEMU2018 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 [email protected].


About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 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; 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.

Tom Wegehaupt
Sr. Account Executive, Tanner Friedman Communications