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Stevenson to facilitate STEM workshop

The Expand Your Horizons event on October 27 will encourage young women to study science and mathematics. (Photo from Stevenson Flickr)
The Expand Your Horizons event on October 27 will encourage young women to study science and mathematics. (Photo from Stevenson Flickr)

Stevenson University will facilitate the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) workshop for the tenth annual year on the Owings Mills North campus on Oct. 27.

The Expand Your Horizons event on Oct. 27 will encourage young women to study STEM. Chemistry experiments such as this one demonstrate the variety within STEM education. (Photo from Stevenson Flickr)

EYH is a national nonprofit that provides a bridge for middle school girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Dr. Michelle Schwartz, coordinator of student engagement in the Fine School of the Sciences, noted that women are extremely underrepresented in STEM occupations, and added that the EYH workshop is a great tool in order to bridge the gender gap in STEM.

“The girls love it…They are with college students in college labs and are getting really involved in seeing what a career in science technology, engineering and math could look like,” explained Schwartz.

In a 2009 article posted by the U.S Department of Commerce, 76 percent of STEM jobs are held by men, and 24 by women. This could be due to the lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility.

The event is open to middle school girls in Baltimore county, Baltimore city, and the surrounding areas, including both public and private schools.

The goal of EYH is to encourage young women to study science and mathematics at a young age in hopes that they will pursue careers in these fields. The workshops offer a hands-on experience for the young women to develop their passion for the broad range of studies in STEM.

A female keynote speaker in the STEM field will kick off the day’s events by giving attendees an example of what powerful things women can accomplish within STEM. The speaker will also introduce the activities for the day.

“The day is designed into four trios,” explained Dr. Lindsey Jones, coordinator of the SoLVE Center.

Trio 1 includes Brain Games. In this trio, the girls will discover mobius magic, the psychology of cinema, and the psychology of sensation and perception.

Trio 2 is Fun with Bio and Chem. Participants can explore the chemistry of soap and the chemistry of glow sticks.

Trio 3 is Exploring STEM. Participants will experience a day in the life of an architect, be introduced to environmental science, and can act as DNA detectives in a crime scene.

Trio 4 is STEM fun. Attendees experience the science of sound and CRISPR, the gene editing game.

Participants are able to choose which trio they want to be in, and can do so during the registration process on the Stevenson University website.

The late Dr. Susan Slattery, a former chair of the mathematics department and professor of mathematics, introduced the workshops to Stevenson in 2008. Slattery and a group of faculty coordinated the first EYH at Stevenson, and because of its great success, Dr. Kim Pause Tucker, Lindsey Jones, Michelle Schwartz, and the entire Fine School of the Sciences continue to facilitate the workshops every year.

What makes the day even more special is that everyone working at the event is a volunteer. The event brings together faculty volunteers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Duquesne University, Morgan State University, S.S Papadopoulos & Associates Inc., the American Institute of Architects, Baltimore Chapter, and Stevenson students and faculty.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 3:15 p.m. Parents or guardians must be present for registration sign-in and sign-out, and do not forget to bring a photo ID. If disability accommodations are needed, or there is a special request to have your daughter placed with a friend, contact [email protected].

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Stevenson to facilitate STEM workshop