Monday, March 22, 2010

"Expanding Your Horizons" teaches girls about science, technology, engineering and math



Hundreds of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade girls from central Illinois got a hands-on lesson about careers involving science, technology, engineering and math during a conference on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

The American Association of University Women - Springfield Branch coordinated and sponsored the March 20 "Expanding Your Horizons" event, which was also sponsored by UIS and The Children's Center, a Memorial Health System affiliate.

“This conference is going to show them that because the sessions are being taught by women, that they have every opportunity that a man has,” said event co-chair Carol Kerins.

Girls were able to participate in more than 20 hands-on workshops involving computers, animation, robots, medical technology, television production and much more.

“I think it’s pretty cool because you get to do lots of different things,” said Collen, a 7th grader who took part in the event.

“Expanding Horizons” has been taking place in the Springfield community for 23 years and experts say it’s more important now than ever.

“The research in the field shows that the number of women in the field is falling dramatically and if we don’t start doing things like this to engage girls in technology we’re going to wind-up with a field that is completely male dominated,” said Mary Sheila Tracy, UIS Computer Science Instructor.

For more information on the event and how to get involved next year visit www.aauw-il.org/springfield.

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