EYHOn Saturday, March 16, 2019, nearly 1,200 middle school and high school girls from San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara counties attended Expanding Your Horizons at Skyline College. EYH is a conference geared toward increasing girls’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers through hands-on workshops.

Skyline College hosted its 39th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics. Volunteers from Skyline College and North San Mateo County Soroptimist planned the conference. Soroptimist of North San Mateo County provided scholarships and school buses for north county girls.

Girls came from over 164 schools in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties. 84% of the girls are in middle schools. Over 100 scientists volunteered to present workshops. Additionally, Skyline College students and Skyline College alumnae who have completed their baccalaureates degrees presented workshops. Skyline College faculty and staff who presented workshops and/or mentored students developing workshops include Yancy Aquino, Alice Erskine, Mary McKay, Nick Kapp, Chris Case, Jing Folsom, Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa, Safiyyah Forbes, Nancy Ruis, Jennifer Merrill, Ray Hernandez, Maryam Khan, Kylin Johnson, Emilie Hein, Susan Wu, Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos and Eric Torres.

The program is available at skylinecollege.edu/eyh. Another 70 Skyline College students volunteered to be go’fers at the conference to help usher girls between their sessions.

Vice President Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza started the day by welcoming the girls and introducing keynote speaker Zoe Zappitell, who gave an inspiring talk, encouraging the girls that they can do anything they want. Ms, Zappitell is a tech entrepreneur, formerly with Zynga.

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 36 concurrent workshops for girls. Each girl participated in three workshops during the day.

Expanding Your Horizons aims to encourage girls to participate in high school math and science courses, provide role models for young women who are interested in math and science and provide support for and promote 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, Ana Gutierrez-Gamez, Ray Hernandez, Kylin Johnson, Nadia Tariq, Kim Touneh, Alana Utsumi, and Marco Wehrfritz. Community members on the planning committee include Arlene Chang, Barbara Irli, Becky Lennon, Judy Lewis and Allison Takata.

Article by Christine L. Case | Photos by Andrea Caesar and Megan Scott

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