Sacramento State hosts fun, spooky science conference for girls

photo: Spooky science conference for girls

Nearly 500 middle school-age girls had the opportunity to do fun science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities Saturday, Oct.4, during the annual Expanding Your Horizons conference.

The conference was designed to encourage sixth- to eighth-grade girls to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by providing hands-on workshops and discussions with school and industry leaders.

“It was interesting. I got to play with a sheep heart,” says Taylor Mitchell, a participant. “It was kind of scary at first because I’ve never been that close to an actual heart. I didn’t know how it would feel.”

One of the strangest workshops was “Spooky Chemistry” taught by Sacramento State chemistry professor Cynthia Kellen-Yuen. “We showed how chemistry can be very useful at Halloween,” she says.

photo: Spooky science conference for girlsUsing a few household items, the girls learned how to make realistic looking injuries. “We made wounds that looked like we got into an experiment that exploded,” says Monica Dinocco, a participant.

There was also a program for parents and guardians of the students on STEM education and career opportunities.

“I learned about resources that are available to keep girls interested in science and technology,” says Leah Lucas, one of the parents. “I also found out how early parents need to begin preparing our kids for college. Sixth grade? That’s earlier than I thought.”

The conference was sponsored by Sacramento State’s Center for STEM Excellence and College of Continuing Education, AT&T, The Women of AT&T and the Sacramento State/UC Davis Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program.

For more information on EYH, contact the Center for STEM Excellence at 278-2789.


About the writer:
Sacramento State’s Mike Ward can be reached at mward@csus.edu