Mouse | Industry Professionals: Support the Next Generation of…

April 17, 2023

Industry Professionals: Support the Next Generation of Innovators!

Calling all technology, media & design professionals & makers!

Are you interested in using your knowledge to encourage the next generation of tech, media and design innovators?

We are seeking volunteers to act as project judges and mentors during the 2023 Emoti-Con NYC Youth Digital Media & Technology Challenge!

What is Emoti-Con?

This spring, hundreds of middle and high school students from public schools and organizations across New York City will be entering their original tech, media and design projects to Emoti-Con!

Since 2009, Emoti-Con has created a celebratory end-of-year showcase for teen digital designers, app makers, developers, gamers, artists, media storytellers, and activists to present their original innovations with support from a community of peers, educators and industry judges (That’s where you come in!.)

Projects like: this app about acknowledging and addressing bias, this animated dance performance about the cycle of seasons, this app about ways to stop bullying and support LGBTQ+ peers, this documentary eating disorders and youth - all made by 6-12th grade students!

Emoti-Con is planned and delivered by a cross-institutional, cross-generational committee led by alumni, and educators from Mouse, Code Nation, Global Kids, and other members of the Hive NYC network.

Why it matters:

Participating students have been working hard all year learning the tech, design and media skills necessary to create their projects, but most of them have no connection to anyone who actually does this kind of work in the real world.

Every year, we hear from teachers and alums how impactful it is for students to know that their work is being seen and commented on by people who actually work in the industries they are developing a passion for.

“Getting real feedback from real professionals during Emoti-con made me realize that maybe this was more than just a school project, and something I could actually pursue.” - Mickell, former Emoti-con participant, and current game designer and Emoti-con Judge.

What do judges do?

Judges will have 12 days between May 22nd - June 2nd to review, score, and leave encouraging feedback for 5-15 student projects, depending on your availability. Projects may include digital games, apps, art/video/music, websites etc. Here’s an example project page from last year with judge's notes at the bottom.

How does it work?

What is the schedule?

  • Week of May 16: Attend or watch a recording of a short Judge Orientation

  • Between May 22-June 2: Review 5-15 student projects (based on your capacity - each project should take 10-15 minutes to review).

  • Week of June 5 (Optional): Some judges may be asked to record short video testimonials about the winning projects, if they are able.

  • June 13th (Optional): Judges are invited to a special in-person Emoti-Con networking event to meet with youth innovators and fellow judges to celebrate, encourage, and have candid conversations about their professional journeys.

Who can be a judge?

  • Anyone in a design, media or technology-related career, and/or folks who represent relevant college programs.

  • People who develop or design technology and/or media as an independent creator or entrepreneur.

  • People who work at technology, design or media companies in an adjacent role (for example: marketing, project management, etc)

  • Judges can come from anywhere around the world!

  • Representation matters: We'd love to have the diversity that is reflected in our students be reflected in our judges - all are welcome to apply

How are projects judged?

Student presentations are scored for their creativity, innovation, potential for community change, point of view, artistry, and their pitch – not for their technical expertise, which relates more to their access to resources and mentors than to the quality of their idea. Emoti-Con values unique ideas, authentic design process, documentation, and social impact over technical ‘completion’.

Become a Judge

We'll need at least 70 judges so that each project is reviewed fairly. Last year, we had over 750 students and 194 projects. This year – with your help – we hope to accept even more!

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