ATWATER, CA — Build a robot. Calculate your healthy weight. Handle your own DNA. Conduct food science experiments.
These hands-on activities and many more special sessions will be featured during the Expanding Your Horizons in Science, Mathematics and Engineering conference on Saturday, April 13 at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater. Presented by the University of California, Merced, this special program is designed for young women in sixth, seventh and eighth grades and encourages their consideration of science- and math-based careers.
"Our primary goals are to introduce young women to the exciting variety of career options in science, math and engineering, and to spark their interest in pursuing coursework that will prepare them for these rewarding careers," said Diana Ralls, K-12 Programs Coordinator for UC Merced. "We're focusing on students of this age because middle school is the best time to start planning for their academic and professional futures."
Maria Pallavicini, Ph.D., newly appointed Dean of Natural Sciences at UC Merced, will be the keynote speaker. Currently a professor in the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, she plans to speak about the excitement of a career in science and research, and the opportunity to create ideas and make a difference in so many lives.
Following, young women will have the opportunity to participate in more than 20 hands-on learning experiences and career awareness sessions led by women scientists, mathematicians and engineers. A sampling of the workshops includes Furry, Fuzzy, Creepy-Crawly - A Career with Wildlife; Food Facts and Fun; Look Out! We're Surrounded by LEGO Robots; and Fun with Biology.
Parenting Daughters, Making College a Reality and Careers Options in Science and Math are among the special adult sessions offered for parents and guardians accompanying their students.
Created by the Math/Science Network and introduced at Oakland's Mills College in 1976, Expanding Your Horizons conferences are held at more than 100 locations nationwide and have attracted the participation of almost 600,000 young women.
The Math/Science Network is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote the continuing advancement in mathematics and science education of all people, with a particular emphasis on the needs of women and girls. The primary objective is to increase the participation, retention and advancement of girls and women in mathematics, science and technology.
According to Math/Science Network statistic, women comprised only 16 percent of the nation's science and engineering workforce in 2000. Statistics indicate women comprised almost half of the nation's total workforce in that same year.
UC Merced will present Expanding Your Horizons in Science, Math and Engineering, a conference for young women in sixth through eighth grade and their parents, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Buhach Colony High School, 1800 Buhach Road, Atwater. The registration fee for students is $5. Adults are free if accompanying a student. Continential breakfast and lunch are included. April 4 is the priority deadline for registration. For more information and to obtain a registration form, please contact Alex Ribeau at (209) 381-6557.