Explore science, technology, engineering and math at The Woods

October 13th, 2011 | SMWC

Young scientists performing an experiment at last year's EYH conference.

Girls in sixth through eighth grades are invited to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during the annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) on November 5, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Registration is available online at http://smwc.edu/eyh.

Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) empowers young women to excel in math and science through hands-on activities, interact with female role models and to explore opportunities in math and science-related careers. Numerous EYH conferences are held throughout the United States each year, and this is the only conference in the Wabash Valley.

Highlights of EYH include Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College as the keynote speaker. King will share with students and parents research on keeping young women engaged in the STEM fields. She will lead a workshop specifically for parents explaining their key role in facilitating the mindset that encourages and empowers girls to persist in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Additionally, prominent professional women who work in the STEM fields will lead the hands-on workshops. The girls will experience the fun of mathematics and science in two of the following workshops:


What is NASA all about? Do you have the right stuff to be a rocket engineer or an astronaut? Participants will learn about past, present and future NASA programs and the many careers NASA has to offer. Afterwards, they will assemble and launch small rockets and test them for accuracy, distance or height. Reach for the stars and see how far you can go.

Diedra Adams, Science Teacher, West Vigo Middle School


Come and enjoy the fragrant essential oils of rosemary, citrus fruits and even pepper! You will learn about the exciting world of chemistry while we explore the delicious scents commonly found in popular bath products. We’ll use cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology to extract valuable oils from some of nature’s most-loved plants using supercritical carbon dioxide.

Rebecca DeVasher, Ph.D., Research Chemist, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


What do we do to theirs? You will learn how to listen to a horse’s heart and from this, determine if it is under stress, calm or excited. You will also learn how to take the horse’s temperature and respiration count. Come join in this hands-on learning experience evaluating a horse’s health.

Angie McMillin, Equine Facilities Manager, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College


How do doctors treat patients who can’t tell them in words what is wrong? In this workshop find out what a typical day is like for a vet and have a chance to evaluate some furry patients!

Nancy Schenck, D.V.M., Veterinarian, Petcare Animal Hospital


Do you ever wish you could build a robot to clean your room? Do the dishes? Do your homework? Explore what it takes to make a robot and program it to do what you want it to do!

Cate Lane, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana


What parts of your body have been passed down from your parents and grandparents? Come join us to find out more about your DNA! Learn how to pair nitrogen bases to make a simple model of your genetic material.

Bridget Ireland, Science Teacher, North Vigo High School


Want to play electronic hide and seek? Learn about geocaching and look for a sweet cache at SMWC. Something is hidden; can you and your team find it? If so, you will find the mystery prize.

Lana Lytle, Associate Professor, BCIS, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College


Have fun with physics, which answers almost all intriguing questions of the world that we see and do not see. Come prepared to learn some basic principles behind telescopes and microscopes.

Sudipa Kirtley, Ph.D., Research Physicist, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


In this workshop you will become a blood cell and follow the path the blood takes through the heart picking up oxygen from the lungs and taking it to the tissues of the body. You will also listen to your own heartbeats at various points along the way.

Jacqueline Holder, D.O., Pediatrician, UAP Clinic


What is a cell culture and why is it vitally important in the pharmaceutical industry? You will see examples of how to use math to do plating, sub-culturing, etc. and work through some problems of your own.

Erin Brackney-Heflin ’07, Advanced Testing Laboratory, Eli Lilly Corporate Center

While the focus of the EYH conference is to provide hands-on learning experiences for girls, the conference offers a special session for accompanying adults to provide information on educational and career opportunities involving science, math, and engineering. Participants will learn how to encourage and motive girls to remain interested in math and science.

Cost to register for the conference is $20, and the registration fee includes lunch and a t-shirt. If a student and a parent wish to register, the cost is $20 per person and two separate registrations must be submitted. For more information about the Expanding Your Horizons conference, visit http://smwc.edu/eyh or contact Anneliese Payne, Ph.D., 812-535-5183 or apayne(at)smwc.edu.

For more information about the science and mathematics programs at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, visit http://smwc.edu/sciences-and-mathematics. More information about the Expanding Your Horizons network can be found at www.expandingyourhorizons.org.

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