The Digital Youth Network’s Digital Youth Divas program supports middle-school girls in developing STEM identities by creating face-to-face and online spaces where girls work together to design, create, and re-imagine everyday artifacts (jewelry, hair accessories, music), activities (dancing and talking to friends), and spaces using techniques including design, circuitry, coding and fabrication.

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Divas Vlog: eFashion Track

Ep. 3: LEDs

This week the Divas build upon their knowledge of circuits to design and create fashion accessories that light up with LEDs!

Latest Divas News

YM-video-header WCIU, The U | Digital Youth Divas - Calling all 11 to 13-year-old girls! The Digital Youth Divas is looking for you to join their club and explore technology on Saturdays starting January 9th. It’s free and you can learn all about it in this clip. Source: WCIU, The U | Digital Youth Divas
ct-jk-0816-stem-digital-divas-gallery-20150805 (1) Digital Divas stitch STEM into fashion and dance challenges for middle school girls – Chicago Tribune - Mentoring by girls who are just slightly older is a key distinction of Digital Divas, led by Nichole Pinkard, founder of it and its parent organization, the Digital Youth Network. Research also shows the middle school years are the best time to reach out to girls with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives such as Digital Divas, which aims ...
ColumbusPark (1 of 131) Digital Youth Network’s summer of opportunities | Newsline | DePaul University | A Publication for Faculty and Staff - For nearly 10 years, the Digital Youth Network has provided Chicago’s under-resourced youth access to the ever-evolving array of tools and technology needed to be successful in today’s educational and professional world. Founded by DePaul’s Nichole Pinkard, associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media, the organization has gained traction over the last few years through successful outcomes, growing ...

Research Areas

Digital Youth Divas engage adolescent girls in a range of activities (e.g., STEM curriculum, narrative challenges, and social networking) in order to achieve the following three objectives:

Develop STEM Understanding

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  • Better understand how youth talk about design, programming, circuitry and fabrication online and in person.

  • Determine the ways different curriculum pathways (e.g., e-textiles, e-paper, e- toys) elucidate circuit understanding (e.g., flow, connections, polarity, series, parallel).

  • Determine patterns of interaction for individual challenges and how can this data improve the tasks given.

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Determine Effectiveness of Narratives for STEM Identity Development

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  • Determine how well narrative storylines engage girls in participating in activities and completing projects.

  • Explore how these types of narratives impact girls’ STEM identities.

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Establish Well-Developed Individual Interest

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  • Identify the patterns of girls’ participation in iRemix.

  • Identify patterns of participation within and outside of face-to-face programming.

  • Examine how girls interact with mentors, resources, and the work of peers.

  • Determine if there are participation patterns unique to girls who demonstrate evidence of program success.

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Get Involved

Interested in being a part of Digital Youth Divas?
Divas is only possible with the help of collaborators and volunteers from the community. Through their efforts, Digital Youth Divas is able to have a greater reach and effect within the community. We are always looking for help from:

  • Mentors: Mentors facilitate the creative learning process for our students. Each mentor is trained with a focus on the Divas curriculum, projects, and community building.
  • Schools: Schools interested in integrating the Digital Youth Divas program into their curriculum or after-school program are integral to spreading and encouraging STEM learning in young girls.
  • Sponsors: Corporate sponsors looking to help provide access to technology and information for Divas events and classes encourage interest and learning.
  • Researchers: Researchers wishing to collaborate in the study of girls in STEM, computer science education, blended or online learning, making communities, and learner identities, please connect with us regarding your related research and upcoming conferences!

If you are interested in learning more about getting involved with Digital Youth Divals, you can contacts us at dyndivas@gmail.com or with the contact form below.

Digital Youth Diva's Mentors

Divas Program Locations

Currently, Digital Youth Divas is headquartered at Little Black Pearl with programs running at various schools throughout Chicago. For specific program information, feel free to contact us below.

Little Black Pearl
1060 E 47th Street
Chicago, IL 60653