October 30, 2007

'Expanding Your Horizons' conference is Nov. 3

by Eric Welch

CARBONDALE, Ill. — How to build a computer, histotechnology, lasers and nanocrystals in medical technology are just a few of the topics that seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade girls will explore at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's "Expanding Your Horizons" conference.

The event, set for Saturday, Nov. 3, serves to increase their awareness of careers in science, math and technology while giving them fun, hands-on experience.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the various workshops and demonstrations included in the conference between 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the SIUC Student Center and other locations on campus.

"We want them to realize what an engineer does, what a doctor does, and what a mathematician does," said Kathleen Pericak-Spector, professor of mathematics at SIUC. "Some of them may want to be an engineer but don't have any idea what they actually do. This gives them an idea and lets them know what type of classes they should be taking in grammar school and high school."

Hundreds of girls are expected to attend the conference, where they will learn from more than 30 faculty from SIUC and surrounding community colleges as well as professionals in science-related careers. They will choose three of the 18 available workshops in the areas of aviation, chemistry, engineering, food and nutrition, geology, mathematics, medicine, physics, and plant biology. Additionally, workshops will be available to parents, teachers and counselors, equipping them to help students make educational and career decisions.

"It brings seventh, eighth and ninth graders onto campus – some have never been to SIUC and others have never been on a college campus before," Pericak-Spector said. "It's exciting."

Registration is at 8:45 a.m. with workshops from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a provided lunch. Registration is limited to the first 300 applicants, and early registration is encouraged. For more information, visit www.math.siu.edu/eyh/eyh-page.html.