Emoti-Con! 2019

Emoti-Con is NYC’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.

  • WHEN: Saturday, May 11, 2019, 11am-4:30pm
  • WHERE: Celeste Bartos Forum
    The New York Public Library,
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building,
    42nd Street between 5th & 6th Avenues (Entrance on 42nd Street)
    New York, NY 10018

What’s Emoti-Con like? Watch this video and click the “past events” above to learn about the winners, keynotes and judges for each previous event:


  • BEST PITCH: The Fields: Clothing for the Modern Farmer

    BEST PITCH: The Fields: Clothing for the Modern Farmer


    I am presenting fashionable clothing that helps make farmer’s daily work life more sufficient. I appreciate how they create and sell their own goods, and I value the hardships that farmers go through to produce a final product. On my project table there will be pictures of my research, the process of developing a prototype, and the actually final prototypes. My focus was on making breathable, comfortable clothes that are helpful to farmers as they are working.

    Team Members:
    Martine A.



    Our project is a game developed in Unity. It is called Project Xeno and is an RPG genre game. It was inspired by the topic of automated communities and what the world would look like in 2050. At the project table you should you should see a visual representation of this game and be able to play it as well. It was developed by hard work and dedication on creating cutscenes as well as RPG styled gameplay. Since it is in demo version, it may not have too much to offer, but what it does may interest you…

    Team Members:
    Fardin C., Anis M., Jawad R., Brandon W.
  • MOST INNOVATIVE: 0woe: Oh-Whoa!

    MOST INNOVATIVE: 0woe: Oh-Whoa!


    Our project, 0woe, is a 3d printed device created to make catching a basketball easier for people with limited hand dexterity.

    Team Members:
    Juwan L., Perla M., John M. Jr, Steven P., Jeremiah S.
  • POINT OF VIEW AWARD: Flows through Music

    POINT OF VIEW AWARD: Flows through Music


    We, students from Global Kids at PS 96, have been creating and writing songs about different global issues, including the lack of access to safe drinking water in schools. We explored and learned about other places in the world where young people are facing lack of access to clean water and how this impacts communities on a larger scale. Our final digital presentation is a multimedia experience that includes a mix of text, video, and images drawn and edited by students to accompany an original song. It is an informative music video that we believe many young people can relate and connect to.

    Team Members:
    Khadijah B., Starr H., Daniela P.



    This is an original song by 7th grader Kayleen about rising above depression and suicidal thoughts. While a fictional account, it remains no less haunting. It was recorded and edited using SoundTrap and Garageband with a beat purchased from Edobe.

    Team Members:
    Kayleen B.
  • CROWD FAVORITE: Excel Growth

    CROWD FAVORITE: Excel Growth

    Mark Twain I.S. 239

    We created a project called ExcelGrowth, which uses Discord. Discord is a chat platform. It was originally a platform for gamers, but over time, it has evolved into a diverse site, in which those with similar interests can excel, hence the name. The people of interest for us at the moment are those who want to learn, but are struggling from boring lessons. We created a Discord server where users can connect and learn from one another. We also used JavaScript to create a bot that could help you and quiz you. However, ExcelGrowth is not just a bot. ExcelGrowth is a diverse learning community.

    Team Members:
    Michael F., Aaron H., Andrey S., Vincent W.


  • Catt Small

    Catt Small

    Catt is a product designer, game maker, and front-end web developer. She makes awesome things at Etsy. She has done design work for companies of all sizes including SoundCloud, Bedrocket, and Nasdaq. She started coding around the age of 10 and designing at the age of 15. In 2011, she graduated from SVA with a BFA in Graphic Design and later received an MS in Integrated Digital Media from NYU in 2016. She joined Rosenfeld Media’s editorial board in 2018. Catt also makes video games with Brooklyn Gamery, writes about professional development, and draws comics about interpersonal experiences of all kinds. You can follow her @cattsmall on Twitter and view her work at www.cattsmall.com.


  • Alessandra Affinito

    Alessandra (Allie) Affinito is a Children’s Librarian with New York Public Library’s Chatham Square Branch, where she conducts a multitude of STEAM programs for kids ages 3-12, including bi-weekly Tech Clubs. She also presented at the ULU’s Weird Science conference and wrote for ALA’s new book 50 Coding Projects for Kids. When she’s not messing with tech toys she loves to curl up with a good sci-fi book or practice her trapeze skills! She is so thrilled to see the innovative creations that Emoti-Con’s participants devise this year!

  • Robert Canciello

    Robert Canciello

    Rob Canciello is a co-founder and producer behind Stuido Studios, a small independent game and VR studio in Brooklyn, NY. He also teaches an 8 week Unity game development course with Playcrafting NYC as well as an intro to game programming class at Bloomfield College.

  • Dixie Ching

    Dixie Ching

    Dixie Ching is a user experience researcher at Google, where she works on educational products. As a doctoral student at NYU, she co-led the Hive Research Lab, a research-practice-partnership with the Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network, a community of youth-serving institutions offering innovative out-of-school digital making programs. Previously, Dixie managed research and communications at Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. She has also helped develop educational media at Center for Children & Technology/Education Development Center, New York Hall of Science, and Beijing Television.

  • Yuet Chu

    Yuet Chu

    Yuet Chu has served as Executive Director of Borough Support for 230+ NYCDOE schools in Manhattan since 2016; and prior to that led a network since 2007. She has led cross-functional teams and focused on collaborating with superintendents and community partners to support schools; and develop leadership pathways for teachers and administrators. Yuet started her DOE career at School of the Future in 1996, and spent ten years there as a teacher and Middle School Director. She holds an MS in Special Education from Hunter and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale.

  • Gregory Climer

    Gregory Climer

    Greg is an assistant professor of fashion design at Parson School of Design. He splits his time between the BFA in Fashion Design and the MFA in Design + Technology. Climer is interested in how tech and textiles can converge while maintaining the warmth and comfort we often associate with well-worn garments and beloved blankets. His work has shown in the Museum of Art and Design, Mint Museum of Art, Christopher Stout Gallery NY, Hive Gallery Los Angeles, The Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, and others. It is in the permanent collection of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

  • Jonah Brucker-Cohen

    Jonah Brucker-Cohen

    Jonah Brucker-Cohen. Ph.D., is an award winning researcher, artist, writer, and Assistant Professor in the department of Journalism and Media Studies at Lehman College, CUNY. His work includes over 100 creative projects that critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience. His work has been exhibited at venues such as SFMOMA, MOMA, ICA London, Tate, Ars Electronica, Whitney Museum of American Art, Transmediale, and others. Two of his artworks are in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

  • Shawn Clybor

    Shawn Clybor

    Shawn Clybor is a history and game studies teacher at Dwight-Englewood School, an K-12 independent school in Bergen County, New Jersey. He worked with a team of game developers at Charles University to produce Attentat 1942, an award-winning educational simulation of the Nazi Occupation of Prague during World War Two. He is currently working on a sequel set in 1945, and other future projects. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in European History from Northwestern University, and has published several academic articles on artists and writers living in Communist Czechoslovakia.

  • Karen Feng

    Karen Feng

    Karen is a software engineer at Google in New York. She has been a site reliability engineer for many years, on products like Google Docs and Drive. She has also worked on Project Shield, a service to protect news and free expression websites from digital attacks. Currently she is a member of the Search team in Youtube.

  • Andrea Ferrero

    Andrea Ferrero

    Andrea Ferrero is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Pockets Change, an education organization that uses hip hop pedagogy to build financial capability with K-12 students, families, and educators. She is also a board member of California Jump$tart Coalition, finding innovative ways to make money more approachable in classrooms. She’s enjoyed over a decade of teaching PreK-12th grade, coaching educators, and designing award winning educational programs and digital products.

  • Jessy Jo Gomez

    Jessy Jo Gomez

    Mx. Gomez is an educator who believes that young people have the power to change the world and encourages young people everywhere to unapologetically be themselves. They graduated from Parsons The New School for Design with a BFA in Design & Technology and is currently pursuing a Masters in Special Education at St. John’s University. They are passionate about creating safe spaces for young people, 
especially in the context of gender/sexual identity and mental illness. By combining technology, social justice, and youth education, Mx. Gomez is on a mission to change the world!

  • Deren Guler

    Deren Guler

    Deren Guler is a technologist, designer, and educator who specializes in designing accessible technology solutions and tools. She is a part-time Lecturer in the Design and Technology department at Parsons the New School for Design and leads workshops around designing for the future around the world. She launched the brand Teknikio, a line of creative electronic parts and kits for future inventors, in late 2015.

  • Mark Kizelshteyn

    Mark Kizelshteyn

    Mark is a senior product designer at Spotify working on new markets and growth initiatives. Over the years, he has worked on interactive web, mobile and tv experiences with a focus on emerging platforms and hardware. He has designed and built products for Spotify, HBO GO, TED, Lowe’s, and Ben & Jerry’s.

  • Chris Lawrence

    Chris Lawrence

    Chris is an experienced nonprofit executive who has spent the last 15 years as a dedicated educator, network builder, and advocate for non-profit organizations. His experience spans the development, implementation, and administration nonprofit programs, fundraising, fund giving, and operational strategy planning across social change, education, cultural, social goods, and technology sectors. As Vice President, Mozilla Leadership Network, he oversaw the development and expansion of a global network of leaders who will build the values of the open internet into all aspects of human society.

  • Nathalie Leon

    Nathalie Leon

    A flight tech enthusiast at heart, Nat is working for a dual degree in aeronautical engineering and computer science at the University of Rochester. To embolden students alike, she is an active voice for the redefinition of success and ambition. Nat, a bright-eyed coder, works intently with nonprofits like Major League Hacking (MLH) and the John Lennon Bus Project. In her free time, she volunteers for city animal rescues and reads adventure novels. Follow my instagram!: @rewritethem

  • Bianca Lewis (BiaSciLab)

    Bianca Lewis (BiaSciLab)

    BiaSciLab is a 12 year old hacker and maker. She was the youngest speaker at H.O.P.E. and has spoken at DEFCON in both the Bio Hacking Village and the R00TZ asylum kids con. She received national attention when she hacked the voting reporting system at DEFCON 26. She enjoys inventing things, giving talks and teaching classes on making, programming and hacking. Follow her on twitter @BiaSciLab or check out her website www.BiaSciLab.com

  • Eric J Lewis

    Eric J Lewis

    Eric J Lewis is the Engineer Of Things at Power Home Remodeling, Hacker, Programmer and Maker. Member of DEFCON 610, TOOOL, and 2600. When he is not breaking things, he likes to teach others programming, fixing, hacking and other useful skills.

  • allisyn levy

    allisyn levy

    Since joining BrainPOP in 2007, Allisyn Levy has played an integral role in the creation, launch, and continued development of BrainPOP Educators, our online professional community. Now, as VP, Project Lead, Allisyn oversees BrainPOP’s newest student creation tool, Creative Coding. Allisyn is a National Board Certified Teacher who spent 11 years as an elementary education teacher. She frequently leads workshops for teachers on integrating coding into the curriculum and game-based learning. @allisyn

  • Kevin Miklasz

    Kevin Miklasz

    Kevin has worked in the fields of game design and education for the last 10 years. As a trained scientist, he has a PhD in Biology from Stanford University, but has spent his time gaining a smattering of diverse experiences in education: designing science curriculum, teaching after-school science programs, designing science games, running a science and cooking blog, running game jams for kids, and running PD for teachers and professional engineers. He is currently the VP, Data and Prototyping at BrainPOP, where he leads the data team and coordinates prototyping work on new products.

  • Dennis Morgan

    Dennis Morgan

    Dennis Morgan a Sr. Product Manager @ Michael Kors. For over 20 years he has been part of cutting-edge products and industries. From lasers, to atomic physics, to video games, to Ed-tech, to e-commerce, Dennis has been passionate about building products that have meaningful impact on our lives. He believes every child should have this opportunity: to experience many technologies and to use them to make meaningful impact on the world in which we live.

  • Amy Nelson

    Amy Nelson

    Amy Nelson is the CEO of Venture For America, an organization that is building the next generation of entrepreneurs across 14 American cities. Amy is passionate about helping diverse young talent build meaningful companies, and using their careers as a platform to create opportunity for others.

  • Neimat Orengo

    Neimat Orengo

    Neimat is an alum of the Mouse Design League program (formerly Mouse Corps) and has presented multiple projects previous Emoti-Cons, including Arduino projects, like “Flare-Pen” and “Smart Chair”. The projects were always human-centered, resolving issues that were mostly overlooked. Neimat also volunteers to teach elementary school children about the basics of computing and networking. He currently works as an Apple Genius to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues with iOS and Mac devices. He enjoys playing video games with his friends and trying to figure out what new things he can learn!

  • Amy Parness

    Amy Parness

    Amy Parness has been an experience designer since 1999. She started her career in technology working on some of the first large ecommerce sites and then moved into advergaming. She has an undergraduate degree from Boston University in International Relations and Advertising Design. She attended the Interactive Telecommunication Program for graduate school to get away from the screen and create physical prototypes for art and design. Amy founded Sparkle Labs with Ariel Churi in 2005 after graduating from ITP together. She is always focused on finding the most environmental materials and ways to manufacture Sparkle Labs’ products. She has lived and worked in Japan and Argentina. She speaks Spanish.

  • Andy Parsons

    Andy Parsons

    Andy is passionate about technologies that empower creative professionals. He is a veteran engineering leader having built teams and platforms in photography, publishing, education and commercial design. Previously he co-founded Happify, a top-10 mobile wellness app and led educational tech initiatives at McKinsey. He has started and exited several startups and most recently founded Workframe with Kevin Ryan (Gilt, MongoDB). Andy runs Clojure/nyc, a vibrant NYC programming community. He is an active mentor in several startup communities including 500 Startups and a frequent speaker.

  • Pilar Perez

    Pilar Perez

    My name is Pilar Perez. In Brooklyn I am a FabLab Coordinator at the Beam Center, a non-profit organization that builds digital fabrication labs in NYC public schools and helps integrate arts, design and technology in their classrooms. I also volunteer in my community. I also did the Fab Academy course through MIT and some fellows from MIT for 6 months. I went to BMCC and transferred to FIT College. I have certifications in HAVC, Welding and Automotive.

  • Ashley Pinakiewicz

    Ashley Pinakiewicz

    Ashley is a design thinker, brand strategist, and educator. Through her business, Looking Glass Strategy, Ashley uses design thinking to re-imagine mission-driven organizations. In her past life, Ashley taught design thinking to corporate clients at IDEO, ran US business development for brand strategy firm Clear, and Tough Mudder’s Creative Team. Most recently, Ashley was the founding 7th grade English teacher at Girls Prep Bronx Middle School. She has a BA in English Literature from Georgetown University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.

  • Benjamin Robinson

    Benjamin Robinson

    I use analysis, design, and technology to make our work much more effective, and possibly even our lives much more satisfying. Lately, I’ve had the incredible experience of building platforms from the bottom all the way to the top. Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed the experience of managing and collaborating with amazing team members to accomplish this big job. Of course, there’s a whole lot of user research that precedes platform development, then a whole lot of marketing that ensures the world knows about this shiny new platform, and I’ve been thrilled to get involved in those domains as well.

  • Andy Saldaña

    Andy Saldaña

    Andy Saldaña is the Executive Director of NY Tech Alliance, a non-profit organization that runs the largest Meetup group in the world, the NY Tech Meetup. He is also a co-founder of QueerTech, a non-profit based in Montreal and focused on empowering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and technologists. He also serves on the programming board for StartOut and runs a startup, Livecube, with his husband. He is a strong advocate for increased diversity, access, and all around inclusion in tech. But above all, he enjoys cultivating connections and the conversations that evolve.

  • Lori Stahl-Van Brackle

    Lori Stahl-Van Brackle

    Lori Stahl-Van Brackle is a proud product of NYC Public Schools. Her career in journalism led her to Web design. In that role she mentored schools putting their school newspapers online. This role made clear to her how much she enjoyed working with young people. She became a teacher in 2003, a Mouse Squad coordinator in 2008, and her school was awarded Mouse Squad of the Year in 2014. Her love of design and creative computing led to her take a position at the Manhattan Borough Office where she currently works with a Manhattan schools on design thinking and Maker Ed.

  • Anke Stohlmann

    Anke Stohlmann

    Anke Stohlmann is a designer, educator, and entrepreneur with a passion for design and education. She is the principal and creative director of Li’l Robin, a strategic design consultancy that works at the intersection of digital and print, and the founder of Li’l Stories, a language arts framework for the elementary classroom that nurtures creative thinking, cooperative learning, and digital literacy.

  • Phong Tran

    Phong Tran

    Phong is a Creative Technologist at buildit, a tech consultancy. He combines UX design and coding to help clients with their digital projects. Previously, he has worked with software companies like IBM to transform their design processes.

  • Atul Varma

    Atul Varma

    Atul is a specialist in the fields of digital learning and community engagement with broad experience designing impactful community tools in local and national contexts. He is an active contributor to open source and data projects and currently leads the development of tools and resources for JustFix.nyc to empower NYC residents and organizers with technology to fight displacement. Atul has written illuminating software that’s been used as the centerpiece of TED Talks, in maker events around the world, and by individuals who are just trying to have a less frustrating time using their computer. Connect with Atul on Twitter @toolness

  • Carol Walport

    Carol Walport

    Carol Walport is a Product Manager at Google. Prior to working at Google she was a Group Product Manager at Zocdoc, a digital health marketplace that allows patients to book appointments with doctors online. Prior to joining Zocdoc, Carol worked at Goldman Sachs and earned a Masters in Finance and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Florida. In her spare time she can be found at the theater and won a Tony award in 2018 for producing the musical “Once on this Island”.

  • Sam Zelitch

    Sam Zelitch

    As a Community Manager at Fullstack Academy, Sam gets to work with cool people all day and make unexpected connections. This goes back to his days of hosting theme parties. In his career, he has worked with such wonderful folks as Sesame Street, Sony Legacy, eMusic, and Mouse. For more information, please visit him.