Eastern Michigan University’s Digital Divas program is a free, one-day program that connects urban and rural middle and high school girls to opportunities in STEM majors and careers. Founded in 2010, each year over 1,000 middle and high school girls participate in a Digital Divas’ program. Digital Divas was started to remedy, at the college level, the shortage of women in STEM classrooms by introducing STEM careers and majors to underrepresented, minority girls. Programming for Digital Divas offers girls an opportunity to take part in multiple STEM hands-on, breakout sessions, as well as meet and network with industry professionals, university professors, and college students who are in STEM programs. The goals of the Digital Divas’ program are to:
- Introduce underrepresented middle and high school students to college majors and careers in STEM
- Recruit more urban and rural students into STEM majors in post-secondary education
- Develop an environment where students from different backgrounds feel comfortable in STEM spaces
- Breakdown gender and minority stereotypes in STEM majors & careers
- Encourage ethical, safe behaviors with regard to texting, emailing, social media, and online activities.
This year COVID has changed everything. Education does not look like it once did. Students are sitting in their homes, unenthusiastic about learning. Inspiration that once came from encounters they once had at school with friends, teachers, hands-on learning, and field trips have now come to an end.
But COVID is not all bad.
It is forcing us to do things we were always too afraid to do.
Digital Divas is now going to take the next step and build a totally online program for girls! Middle and high school girls from all over will be able to access the popular Digital Divas program from their home on any day and at any time. The virtual program will host a variety of online hands-on experiences, tours, and interviews to inspire girls abilities to become anything they want. With the help of EMU’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as various STEM organizations, girls will be exposed to hands-on projects they can do at home, hear interviews from women in the STEM field, and tour various STEM organizations where women work. In addition, this platform will allow girls to earn certificates as they master content on the site.
With your help, we will be able to purchase the digital platform needed to build the Digital Divas online program.