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Expanding Your Horizons Returns to UK - Saturday, April 21, 2018

by Susan Odom

Kentucky’s middle school girls and their parents/guardians are invited to join us for the second annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference at the University of Kentucky campus on Saturday, April 21, 2018.  This day of hands-on workshops will give middle school girls the chance to meet STEM role models and get exposure to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. This is the second iteration of the conference, which is organized by members of the Colleges of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering.

Co-organizers, including Ellen Crocker (Forestry and Natural Resources) and Carmen Agouridis (Biosystems & Ag Engineering), joined forces to bring Expanding Your Horizons back to UK for a second time. The EYH team is back with more person – in particular, woman! – power than before. 21 teams of 3-4 undergraduate and graduate UK students are leading workshops with topics ranging from stream restoration to physics of rockets to science of Fitbits. Crocker and Agouridis are teaching an Experiential Education course (EXP 396) in which the students are being trained to be workshop leaders.  

Sometime during the transition from middle school to high school, middle school girls often find themselves being steered away careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) toward careers that fit comfortably into a box of more “traditional” women’s roles. A daylong workshop at the University of Kentucky weeks aims to provide girls and their parents with an inspiring environment in order to help both groups recognize and pursue opportunities in STEM fields. Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is an international network of hands-on conferences for middle school girls in STEM. The mission of this organization is “to inspire girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in STEM.”

The conference will feature a day of interactive STEM workshops for middle school-students led by UK undergraduate and graduate students. Our primary goal in organizing this workshop is to encourage middle school girls to consider STEM studies by providing them with memorable interactive workshop experiences, visible (female) role models in STEM fields, and exposure to career paths in STEM. In addition, the EYH conference would foster leadership, education, and outreach skills for the undergraduate and graduate students through designing and leading workshops.

“Our goal is to give them a tiny taste of the great opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Crocker. “To open their eyes to some of the possibilities and introduce them to role models, young women who are just a little older than they are, to show them that those pathways are possible.”

The 2018 Expanding Your Horizons Conference will be held in the Jacobs’ Science Building at the University of Kentucky on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 9:00 am-3:30 pm.  Parents and guardians who attend will get information on important topics like planning for college. Registration is $20 and includes lunch. Scholarships are available.

To find out more or to register visit:  Spots are limited, so register soon.