Female middle school and high school students from all over Southeast Michigan have been coming every April to Eastern Michigan University for the last five years to attend the Digital Divas Conference.
Gerald “Skip” Lawver, a former professor for EMU’s College of Technology, founded the Digital Divas conference to give female students the opportunity to network with professors and students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Women represent just 24 percent of the STEM workforce.
“Females are underrepresented in STEM careers and classrooms,” said Bia Hamed, program manager for Digital Divas. “We offer an opportunity to allow students to have a hands-on experience with STEM through this conference.”
Students can choose breakout sessions while attending the conference, which include Animation and Game Design, Creating Smartphone Fun!, Design Your Own Website, Concept of Electricity, and Build Your Own Mobile App.
“The students choose from three breakout sessions, whatever peaks their interest,” said Hamed. “These sessions are run by women in the industry and female faculty and students, which allows girls to see women in lead roles.”
Hamed says that interacting with the women at the conference inspires and encourages the attendees and shows them many of the available career options.
The next Digital Divas conference takes place Friday, November 6.
For more information, go to emich.edu/digitaldivas.