ON: Expanding Your Horizons
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Each year, nearly 500 middle school-age girls have the opportunity to do fun science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities during the annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at Sacramento State.
The conference is 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.
Video: (Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.
(Bill Degraffenreid, Sacramento State physics professor:) “Somewhere around her it’s focusing to a point.”
(Jim Finnerty, reporting:) This lesson in optics uses Jello as a lens. It’s one of the many unique science experiences for girls at Sacramento State’s “Expanding Your Horizons” Conference.
The annual event draws middle school girls from all across the Capital region.
(Tom Landerholm, Sacramento State biology professor:) “Hands-on demonstrations at a level that’s easy to understand, so that it gets them excited about science and math.”
(Finnerty:) Some 500 girls took part in a general assembly program, then broke into 32 workshops.
(Sabeena Sebastian, seventh grader:) “A lot of my friends are doing biology and life science, and I’m doing robotics.”
(Finnerty:) Girls in the labs used vegetable oils to make biodiesel. There were opportunities in technology, forensics and biology.
(Voice off camera) “You’re a future surgeon.”
(Finnerty:) Eighth grader Taylor Mitchell plans a career as a doctor. The workshop examining sheep hearts was just what she wanted.
(Taylor Mitchell, eighth grader:) “So I just know that being in this environment and working with people who know about science will help me.”
(Finnerty:) Sacramento State students volunteered their help for the conference. Many of them said similar experiences changed their lives.
(Jill Wilson, Sacramento State nursing student:) “I never would have really opened my eyes to science and all the different wonderful directions it can take you, so we’re just here trying to help get young girls interested in science to see the many opportunities it can lead them in.”
(Landerholm:) “It’s fun. It challenges your mind. It challenges your ability to collaborate and to think with others in a team. And in the end, that’s what I’d really like to have. When they go home tonight say, “I could do that. I could be that.”
(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty reporting.
(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.