2023 Emoti-con Home | Past Events | Judge Login Virtual Emoti-con

💡 About Emoti-Con💡

Emoti-Con is NYC's annual Youth Digital Media & Technology Challenge- a project fair for students across NYC who believe in digital innovation as a tool for positive change in the world around them. Since 2009, more than 3,138 teens (87% BIPOC and/or Latin/x) have participated!

Emoti-Con is a culminating celebration of the creative work produced all year at the informal programs of organizations within the Hive NYC Learning Network and at public schools participating in CS4ALL NYC, the Games for Change Student Challenge, Mouse Design League and many other DOE programs.

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Emoti-con: From Live to Virtual

From 2009-19, Emoti-Con was a live, in-person event at the New York Public Library each spring. Because of COVID-19, Emoti-Con is now entirely online (until it is safe to meet in person again).

This year, we are excited to bring the live spirit back! Following the virtual event, we are excited to gather again in-person on June 13 at Microsoft Time Square NYC!

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What happens at a Virtual Project Fair?

At a *VIRTUAL* project fair:

  • Students uploaded projects online.
  • Emoti-Con created a webpage to display each project.
  • The virtual project fair runs online for 12 days starting May 22.
  • During the fair, judges and community members (like you!) will review the projects online and leave feedback, ideas and emojis.👏👏👏
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Who are the students?

  • In 2022, over 735 middle and high school students, in teams, are presenting 194 original projects. In 2023, we expect even more!
  • Emoti-Con creates a forum for celebrating the ideas and innovations of youth with identities that have been historically excluded from media/tech industries.
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What kinds of projects do students submit?

  • 📱 Coding Projects, Apps
  • 🤖 Physical Computing
  • 👾 Games
  • 📦 3D/CAD Prototypes
  • 🎤 Videos, Podcasts, Music
  • 🎨 Digital Art, VR/AR
  • 💻 Websites
  • 📣 Social action campaigns
  • 💡 Anything digital/tech!


  • Emoti-Con is all about IDEAS.
  • Projects can be in any stage of the design process.
  • Students with great IDEAS for an invention will write them down or draw a picture of it, they don’t have to be able to code it or build it!
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🔎 Emoti-Con Scavenger Hunt 🔎

Want to be an active member of the Emoti-Con community? Try the Scavenger Hunt: activities, challenges, and reflection for students.

⭐ Resources for Project Teams ⭐

  1. Emoti-Con 2023 Project Fair Guide: Introduce Emoti-Con to your students with this presentation. It includes all of the details and resources you will need to create and submit an excellent digital media & technology project.
  2. Emoti-Con Project Application Worksheet: This worksheet has every question from the application so you and your students can prepare your responses before filling out the live form. Here's an example Project Page too!
  3. Wix.com Project Webpage Template: Our friends at Wix Education developed an amazing free template webpage for Emoti-Con teams to show off your project, along with a video tutorial.
  4. Project Fair Slides Template: How can your students best show off their project idea to the judges? Feel free to copy and remix this Google Slides presentation template and upload it with your application.
  5. Mouse Open Projects: Not sure how your students will turn their idea into a prototype? Mouse has released several free, DIY design & digital making how-tos activities for making apps, 3D models, easy game prototypes, and more.
  6. Get Live Support: Emoti-Con has a few volunteer educators who can work with you and your students to get a project ready for the Project Fair. Email us (Emoticon@mouse.org) and we will schedule a time to meet online.
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🏆 The 5 Emoti-Con Award Categories🏆

  • Most Social Impact: Makes meaningful change within a local or global community that it serves.
  • Most Innovative: Combines creativity, ingenuity, and forward-thinking design or production.
  • Point of View: Reframes issues, interactions, or experiences in a way that enlightens the audience.
  • Most Entertaining: Engages users in playful or artistic ways.
  • Best Pitch: Displays superior design documentation, storytelling, and project demonstration.
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Emoti-Con Organizers & Collaborators

Emoti-Con is the largest event of its kind amongst informal learning programs in New York City. Emoti-Con addresses the need for cross-institutional collaboration and provides the much needed venue for youth to get to connect through their common identity as youth media producers and technologists.

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Steering Committee: The event has been developed through a unique collaboration between youth designers, an alumni committee and NYC youth-serving organizations from the Hive NYC Learning Network who form the Emoti-Con Steering Committee: Code Nation, DreamYard Center, Global Kids, Mouse, the New York Public Library, and Parsons School of Design.


2021 Supporters: We'd like to thank our supporters at Best Buy, the Pinkerton Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the NYC DOE's Department of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT). Their support demonstrates a commitment to growing design-thinking and innovation skills among youth and educators citywide.

Organized by and for Young Designers: Young people play a significant role in the design, planning and implementation of Emoti-Con through participation in the Design Fellows program at Parsons, the Emoti-Con Aluminati on the Steering Committee, and (when the program is live) the youth emcees working with Global Kids.

💖 Stay in Touch 💖

To contact us, email Emoticon@mouse.org or follow us on social media.