Over 1,200 middle and high school girls from San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties attended the 38th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics (EYH) conference at Skyline College on March 1.

Volunteers from Skyline College and North San Mateo County Soroptimist planed the conference which was funded by the President’s Innovation Fund. Soroptimist of North San Mateo County provided scholarships and school buses for north county girls, who are mostly middle school aged (83%).

EYH is a conference geared toward increasing their interest in the critical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers through hands-on workshops.

Over 100 scientists volunteered to present workshops. Additionally, Skyline College students and Skyline College alumnae who have completed their baccalaureates degrees presented workshops. Faculty and staff who presented workshops and/or mentored students developing workshops included Alice Erskine, Mary McKay, Nick Kapp, Chris Case, Carla Grandy, Carina Anttila-Suarez, Judith Crawford, Jing Folsom, Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa, Safiyyah Forbes, Janice McOmber, Janelle Barbier, Julia Johnson, Mary Thomasmeyer, Ray Hernandez, Maryam Khan, Kylin Johnson, Emilie Hein, Lauren Ford, Madison Steele, and Valerie Higgins. Another 70 Skyline College students volunteered to help usher girls between their sessions.

Dean Christine Roumbanis started the day by welcoming the girls and introducing keynote speaker Dr. Rita Ng, who gave an inspiring talk, encouraging the girls that they can do anything they want. Dr. Ng is a cardiologist and Physician in Chief at Kaiser Hospital Oakland.

In their workshops, girls designed a secret code, collected forensic evidence at the “murder in the produce aisle,” made lip balm as “cosmetic chemists,” “scrubbed in for surgery” and learned the chemistry of magic tricks. There were 56 concurrent workshops for girls. Each girl participated in three workshops during the day.

Expanding Your Horizons aims to encourages girls to participate in high school math and science courses, provides role models for young women who are interested in math and science, and promotes interaction between people employed by industry and education.

Planning committee members include AJ Bates, Shari Bookstaff, Chris Case, Kevin Chak, Gary Cheung, Stephen Fredricks, Jon Freedman, Mousa Ghanma, Ray Hernandez, Kylin Johnson, Nadia Tariq, and Alana Utsumi. Community members on the planning committee include Arlene Chang, Barbara Irli, Judy Lewis, and Kim Touneh.


Article by Christine Case | Illustration by Andrea Caesar

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