- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Eastern Michigan University is hosting a gathering of more than 500 girls and young women from middle and high schools around the state for an event that seeks to expand their career prospects in high-tech fields.

An aim of Friday’s “Digital Divas” conference at the Ypsilanti school is to encourage them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields, with a focus on information technology and cybersecurity.

“Part of it is just exposing young girls to the career path,” said Pam Becker, the university’s interim director for the School of Technology and Professional Services Management. “A lot of them don’t even consider technology, computers or engineering as careers.”

The event was founded in 2011 by Gerald “Skip” Lawver, a former professor for the College of Technology, to connect young women with opportunities in technology and computer science. It has grown to include students from schools from Jackson, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties.

During the conference, participants will network with professional female industry leaders, professors and students. They’ll also get the chance to hear personal stories from women working at Detroit-based DTE Energy and Google in Ann Arbor.

Nearly two dozen breakout sessions will be offered, including one about how the criminal justice system deals with online bullying, and another called “Secret Agent Chemistry,” in which participants will write and decode messages that aren’t visible to everyone.

Another session allows participants to experiment with designing characters and building their own video game. Hands-on activities continue with a session where girls can pick apart a computer, and Becker said the hope is that the experiences are inspiring.

“We have to start really young,” she said.

___

Online:

https://www.emich.edu/digitaldivas

___

Follow David Runk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/runkdavi

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide