Seattle Summit To Engage Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math - ‘Expanding Your Horizons’ Aims to Increase Interest and Achievement

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Middle school girls are invited to participate in interesting, hands-on projects under the guidance of women professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math at a seminar hosted by Expanding Your Horizons network on Saturday, March 10 at Seattle University. The conference, which is open to the first 400 registrants, fills up quickly so those interested are encouraged to register early.

We hope the conference inspires young women to shoot for the stars in whatever they set their minds to do.

According to 2011 research by Dr. Sylvie Kerger at the University of Luxembourg, girls are more interested in studying science if topics are presented in a female-friendly way – and middle school girls from Seattle will have a chance to learn accordingly at a conference tailored for them on Saturday, March 10 at Seattle University.

The seminar is hosted by Seattle University and the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) network, which was founded in 1974 as a national nonprofit to motivate young women to become innovative and creative thinkers. For 25 years Seattle EYH has helped thousands of local girls do just that - while having fun exploring careers in math or science.

The conference, which is open to 400 middle school girls on a first-come, first served basis, fills up quickly so participants are encouraged to register early. It runs from 8:15 am to 1:30 pm. Information is available from SEYH by calling 206-296-2117 or online at info(at)seyh(dot)org or http://www.seattleu.edu/scieng/seyh/ The cost is $15 and includes a pizza lunch; scholarships are available to girls who need them.

Kerger’s Study
As discussed in Science Daily, there has been concern over the decreasing number of students studying scientific fields such as statistics, physics and information technology. These disciplines contribute strongly to national growth and well being.

As some girls have less interest in these disciplines but perform just as well as boys, Kerger’s study attempted to find out if making lessons in these topics more relevant to girls would increase their interest. The results showed that girls had a significantly higher interest in IT, statistics and physics when concepts were presented in a way that resonated with their daily lives.

Seattle EYH
The annual Seattle EYH conference does this and more by bringing together middle school girls for a morning of fun courses about science, technology, engineering, and math. Interactive workshops taught by local professional women working in a variety of fields cover everything from the chemistry of fireworks to how DNA can be used to predict the coat color of cats.

Participants can learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion as they construct their very own rocket car, learn to design and build their own animated movie or computer game, investigate DNA sequences of dolphins and whales, and explore ways to light up the night with everyday items from home.

“Expanding Your Horizons gives girls a chance participate in interesting, hands-on projects under the guidance of women who are professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Ann McNally, 2012 Seattle EYH chair. “We hope the conference inspires young women to shoot for the stars in whatever they set their minds to do.”

To find out about other Expanding Your Horizon conferences nationwide, including more than ten conferences in Washington state, go to http://www.expandingyourhorizons.org/.

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Elizabeth Love

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Ann McNally

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