UK Happenings

Expanding Your Horizons Conference Returns to UK

UK students Hunter Dykes, Chloe’ Vorseth and Emily Mastoroudis introduce middle school students to trees’ ecological benefits at the 2017 Expanding Your Horizons workshop for girls. Photo courtesy of UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2018) — Kentucky’s middle school girls and their parents or guardians are invited to register for the second annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at the University of Kentucky Saturday, April 21. This day of hands-on workshops will give middle school girls the chance to meet role models and get exposure to opportunities in the STEM disciplines. This is the second iteration of the conference, which is organized by members of the UK Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; the UK College of Arts and Sciences; and the UK College of Engineering.

Sometime during the transition from middle school to high school, middle school girls often find themselves being steered away from careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) toward careers that fit comfortably into a box of more "traditional" women’s roles. This daylong workshop at UK aims to provide girls and their parents with an inspiring environment in order to help both groups recognize and pursue opportunities in STEM.

“Our goal is to give them a tiny taste of the great opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Crocker said. “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.”

Co-organizers, including Ellen Crocker (UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources) and Carmen Agouridis (UK Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering), joined forces to bring Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) back to UK for a second time. Twenty-one teams of three to four 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. By doing this, the conference also aims to foster leadership, education and outreach skills of the UK students through designing and leading workshops.

The 2018 Expanding Your Horizons conference will be held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building at UK. Parents and guardians who attend will receive information on topics like planning for college. Registration is $20 and includes lunch. Scholarships are also available.

To find out more or to register visit Spots are limited, so register soon. The registration deadline is April 6.

Expanding Your Horizons 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."