Program encourages girls to pursue math, science

On April 25, 2014 Eastern Michigan University will host a day-long conference for middle school and high school girls looking to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics called Digital Divas.

Representatives of companies ranging from Google to Mercedes-Benz will provide useful information about careers in STEM fields during the conference. The female attendees will be taught about aviation, coding, cyber law, cyber safety and the proper way to safely use online platforms.

Ivory Harris is a media and film major in his senior year at EMU. He thinks the program is very innovative and important to the youth.

“Technology is the means by which many people receive information, earn a living, and communicate,” Harris said. “This is the new world we live in,” Harris said.

He is glad to see large corporations invest time in educating the youth in a way that will help them to build and coexist in the future.

“Everything starts with our youth,” Harris said.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, by the year 2018 we will see a 17 percent increase in STEM related careers. Although women make up half of the working population in the U.S., fewer than 25 percent have STEM-related careers.

Karen Purcell is the founder, owner and president of PK Electrical, an award-winning company. She feels that women in STEM fields are vital to the future of these professions.

“I strongly believe that younger women who don’t quite know if they will become engineers are unquestionably the next great generation of brilliant thinkers, problem solvers, leaders and entrepreneurs that the world needs in a big way,” Purcell said.

Her book, titled “Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” is just one source of information for women looking to pursue a career in one of these fields.

Maya Brown, a junior at EMU majoring in finance, says she is hopeful that young women who attend the program will leave with a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in these fields of study.

“I think the program sounds like a great idea,” Brown said. “It’s a good effort towards getting more girls encouraged, especially if it’s engaging and appeals to a group of young middle school girls.”

For more information on the conference or to get registered, contact the project manager, Bia Hamed at

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