I am honored and happy to announce that I am a media partner for this year’s Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) event in Chicago!
EYH is a nationally recognized STEM education program for middle school girls that will be returning to Chicago on March 24, 2018, for the sixth year in a row. EYH aims to combat the gender stereotypes surrounding science that often arise at an early age. Girls attending EYH Chicago will participate in a day-long symposium of workshops that provide them with hands-on experiences in STEM and inspire them to become innovative and creative thinkers.
EYH is not exactly travel-related, so why did I agree to become a media partner?
There are a couple of reasons. First, I am the mom of one nerdtastic almost-9-year-old girl. On her own, my daughter has developed a genuine interest in and passion for science and engineering. At age 4, she was talking about creating “blueprints” for her father to build a backyard play fort! I would be doing my daughter a disservice by not fostering her love of STEM. I’d also be doing other young ladies and their families a disservice by not using my platform to share information about this incredible event.
My other reason for taking on this role as media partner is actually travel-related. An experience like EYH will help to increase the confidence of these young ladies. As they learn more about the scientific and natural world, there’s a good chance that, as a byproduct, they will develop an interest in travel. Or, travel may be necessary for their chosen STEM professions. One thing I’ve learned through my years of travel is that it both requires and builds confidence. The EYH experience will get these future globetrotting young ladies well on their way.
More information about EYH Chicago 2018
EYH will take place at the Univesity of Chicago in Hyde Park. Attendees can choose from 24 different workshops. They can try their hand at activities like isolating DNA from a banana, constructing a simple speaker system, designing a sustainable home, or navigating robots through a maze. Each workshop is led by a female STEM professional from the Chicagoland area, and the girls will also pair up with female mentors who accompany them between workshops. “Our goal is to offer young women from diverse backgrounds opportunities to access positive, hands-on experiences with women currently working in STEM,” said Laura Manning, co-director of EYH Chicago. “Having those role models are crucial, and we aim to provide that in a fun, welcoming environment.”
Two keynote speakers will kick off the 2018 conference: Dr. Enid Montague, a professor at DePaul and Northwestern Universities; and Corlis D. Murray, a veteran of Abbott Laboratories. Both will speak to the girls about careers in STEM. Dr. Montague studies healthcare systems and the importance of patient-centered care. Dr. Murray is an advocate for underrepresented students.
EYH Chicago also hosts a program for parents that runs concurrently with the symposium. Parents may attend a series of panels that cover high school and college prep, extracurricular activities, and career opportunities in STEM. Additionally, parents will take part in two workshops of their own, allowing them to see what their daughters have been up to all day!
Registration for EYH Chicago is now open to all students from Chicago Public Schools and eligible charter schools. Check the registration page for more information.