October 01, 2008

‘Expanding Your Horizons’ program is Oct. 25

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Young women can explore the world of mathematics and science and career possibilities during a daylong conference at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month.

The 18th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics is set for Saturday, Oct. 25, at the SIUC Student Center. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by the program’s start at 9:15 a.m.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the various events associated with the conference, which starts at 9:15 a.m. and runs through 2 p.m. at the SIUC Student Center. For more information, call 618/ 453-5302.

Previously aimed at junior high school-aged girls, organizers this year expanded the eligibility to grades five-nine.

“We felt like there was a lot of interest at that age level and why not let them come,” said Mary H. Wright, professor and distinguished teacher in the Department of Mathematics at SIUC, and a co-chair for the event.

The program increases the participants’ awareness of careers in mathematics, science, technology and engineering, and provides role models in the form of SIUC faculty and other professionals, who volunteer their time for the event. Counselors also will work with parents and teachers to assist them in guiding their students toward such careers.

The conference uses hands-on workshops to stimulate interest in those fields. Organizers have scheduled 16 different workshops for the event, ranging from animal science to physics. Each girl will participate in three such workshops. To see the complete list of this year’s workshops, go to http://www.math.siu.edu/eyh/workshopchoices-08.pdf

“By doing hands-on things, we can hold the students’ interest and spark the excitement,” said Wright, who co-chairs the event with SIUC mathematics Professor Kathleen Pericak-Spector. “We want them to have a good day experiencing these activities and come away excited about the possibilities.”

The cost of the program is $10 per student, which includes lunch. Organizers encourage early registration, as enrollment is limited. To download the enrollment form, go to http://www.math.siu.edu/eyh/registration.html.

Organizers expect about 300 participants. Teachers, parents and others from all around Southern Illinois will join those students, along with more than 30 professionals from SIUC, local community colleges and private companies.

For more information, go to http://www.math.siu.edu/eyh/EYH-Page.html.