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Youth Innovators at Emoti-Con 2016 NYC



On Saturday, June 11, 2016 more than 200 of the most talented youth from across the five New York City boroughs will connect, compete, and present their technology projects at Emoti-Con, held at the New York Public Library. In its eighth year, Emoti-Con is New York City’s biggest showcase for young designers, makers, technologists, and tinkerers who believe in digital innovation as a tool for positive change in the world around them.

Through this annual event, Emoti-Con brings together diverse middle and high school students from across NYC to collaborate with their peers, connect with those with whom they share a common identity as youth media producers and technologists, and receive recognition for the incredible work they do throughout the year.

Emoti-Con ensures that young people in NYC can offer their voice about pressing issues, gain vital exposure to industry mentors, and most importantly, be part of a community that will be instrumental in helping solve the challenges of their time.

Emoti-Con is the largest event of its kind among informal learning programs in NYC and has been developed through a unique collaboration between NYC youth-serving organizations and Hive NYC Learning Network members. This year’s organizers include Mouse, Mozilla Foundation, the New York Public Library, Parsons School of Design and Urban Arts Partnership.

The projects will include:

  • Assistive and adaptive technology projects designed for individuals with disabilities, including an app for the hearing impaired, custom attachments for those in wheelchairs, and headphones for a DJ with cerebral palsy
  • Robotics projects designed with Arduino and Raspberry Pi to create a self-organizing tool for students
  • A Minecraft map where students play through a fairy tale, while learning that reading can be fun
  • Technology assisted projects that help protect teens, including a device that will lock a cell phone so that teens cannot text and drive, and another that ensures that special needs students cannot leave school without others knowing

Youth participants enter the Emoti-Con Challenge where their work is judged in the following categories: Most Innovative, Most Potential for Social Impact, Point of View, Most Entertaining, Best Pitch, and Crowd Favorite. New this year, the Emoti-Con trophies and medals are being 3D-printed by Shapeways.

The day’s events will include keynote presentations, hands-on activities, and a Youth Media Expo, showcasing youth projects from several organizations and schools.

This year’s keynote speakers are:

  • Kaho Abe, NYU Game Innovation Lab
  • Austin Carvey, Co-Founder,Young Hackers
  • Lucy Jones, Fashion Designer, recently recognized in Forbes “30 Under 30”
  • Ramsey Nasser, Game Designer

Judges for the Youth Media Expo represent many impressive organizations, including Advocacy Institute, Bocoup, The Coding Space, DIYDOC, Fashion Redefining Justice, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School, The Knowledge House, Mozilla Open Science, NY Tech Meetup, Parsons, Population Council, Sparkle Labs, Staten Island Maker Space, Talos Digital, Tribeca Film Institute, and YMCA.

Sponsors for Emoti-Con 2016 include Adobe Foundation, Best Buy Foundation, Capital One, Con Edison, Mozilla Foundation, ROKO Labs, STAX, and Zen.Digital.

Find more information about Emoti-Con and follow updates:

Participating Organizations

Mouse is a national youth development nonprofit that believes in technology as a force for good. Mouse empowers all youth to create with technology to solve real problems and make meaningful change in our world. We are committed to creating more diversity in STEM and opening opportunity for students from underserved communities across the country. Founded in 1997, Mouse programs have had a positive and lasting impact on more than 32,000 students nationwide. Learn more at

Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network (Hive NYC) Hives are a constellation of communities around the globe run by the Mozilla Foundation that champion digital skills and web literacy through connected learning. The nonprofit Mozilla Foundation is a public interest initiative that believes the Web should be open and accessible to all. To protect the Web as a public resource and empower its users, Mozilla creates open source products, teaches 21st-century skills and spurs grassroots advocacy campaigns.

The New York Public Library The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at

Parsons School of Design has been a pioneer in art and design education for more than a century. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons offers rigorous training that allows for student collaboration across five thematic schools, which were recently created to better facilitate interdisciplinary learning. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, visit

Urban Arts Partnership advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.