Eastern Michigan University's Digital Divas, a program with the goal of promoting STEM majors and careers to middle and high school girls, is launching a TV show that highlights women role models in STEM.
The Digital Divas TV show, “The Future of Me,” highlights women who are students and in STEM careers telling their stories about why they decided to take the path they took.
Dr. Bia Hamed, the Director of K-12 STEM Outreach at the GameAbove College of Engineering & Technology has been with the program since its inception about 12 years ago.
“During COVID, a lot of good things happened, and a lot of bad things happened,” said Hamed. “I received funding from GameAbove and a grant from DTE energy foundation. I gathered women in stem and stem majors from EMU and did a video series of their stories of how they became what they became. The Michigan Learning Channel saw it and loved it and wanted me to partner with them to make a TV show.”
The Michigan Learning Channel offers free programming that is broadcast on-air by public television stations in Michigan and stored for on-demand on various different digital platforms. Being that it is public television, Hamed raised $50,000 to make two pilot episodes from donors such as the DTE Energy Foundation, AT&T Foundation, ITC Holding, and Promess.
The two pilot episodes are themed; The first one focuses on cybersecurity while the second one focuses on manufacturing.
“We did our filming in January and February. We would film these ladies telling their stories at their workplace. This is really important work because we have so many jobs in technology, engineering, math, and science and we can’t fill them. We need to do whatever we can do to find this skilled talent,” said Hamed.
Women are underrepresented in these fields. According to Hamed, women make up only 28% of the STEM workforce and are also outnumbered by men in STEM majors at school. The Digital Divas TV show is set in place to hopefully rectify this problem.
“I can’t reach every girl,” Hamed said. “By partnering with the Michigan Learning Channel and having these videos on-demand, no matter where she is, she will be able to access really important, encouraging information about her future.”
Companies all over the world can invest in girls’ futures in STEM. Hamed hopes to get more funding through different foundations and organizations to help grow Digital Divas outreach.
The show is set to premiere on the Michigan learning Channel at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18. To learn more about the program visit the Digital Divas website.