Expanding Your Horizons

Expand Your Horizon (EYH) is a program geared toward young girls grade six through nine. The program focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based careers and the encouragement that young girls need to get into a STEM based career. The conference allows young girls to participate in workshops taught by women, learn and experience what it would be like to be a doctor, vet, or a rocket scientist through a variety of hands on options, and attend a keynote session.

This year more than 400 girls from over 100 different schools across Northern Utah attended the EYH, which was held on November 2, 2013 at Mt. Ogden Jr. High. Every participant chooses three different workshops to attend throughout the day from twenty six different options. The different hands on workshops provide participants with a variety of STEM focused areas.  Some examples of workshops that were offered are: build a Lego robot and participate in a robot demolition derby, build a bridge and learn about engineering principles, learn to extract your own DNA, examine live animals and learn about veterinary medicine. All of the classes are taught by women in math and science professions, thus providing these girls with the perfect role models.

Not only does this conference provide hands on experience, but it also provides girls with the resources to pursue a STEM career. Information is given to the girls to help them find opportunities and activities in the different areas of STEM.  The conference is only the beginning of the experience and the encouragement of these young girls. The goal of the conference is to inspire and motivate girls to continue pursuing their dreams beyond the extent of the conference.

“Our mission is to encourage young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers,” said Angie Harbert, systems engineer at ATK and this year’s EYH conference chairperson. “There are really cool jobs that women in Utah have, such as DNA research, developing video games and making composite bike parts. My hope is the conference inspires the girls to use their STEM knowledge to make Utah a better place.”

The EYH conference has gained much success and popularity over the last five years. In fact, due to the success rate of the conference they recently added a second conference that is offered during the spring in Salt Lake City. Through the EYH conference, girls all across Northern Utah are getting excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. The conference provides girls with a wonderful opportunity and gateway into amazing STEM careers. 

Originally written by Melina Padilla