Engaging in the worlds of science, technology, engineering and math can open many doors for students, especially in terms of a future career.
The goal of Expanding Your Horizons, a program offered through a partnership between the Glynn County School System and College of Coastal Georgia, is to help young girls take a greater interest in those fields.
Now in its sixth year, the program, open to girls in grades five through eight, introduces young females to inspirational people and eye-opening activities.
Set for Oct. 25 at the college, the female students can create modular origami, learn to read x-rays, make their own paper or peanut butter candy, examine a real eyeball, observe sea creatures and much more.
Lessons will range from chemistry to microbiology, health sciences to radiologic science, geometry and beyond.
Joan Boorman, director of grants and testing with the school system, says the program has been a real success in the past, not only in terms of introducing girls to fields of study they might not have noticed before, but also in encouraging them to continue their education.
“There’s a lot of research that shows girls tend to withdraw when they get to middle school. They don’t always want to answer questions or be the smartest in school and start deferring to the males in the classroom,” Boorman said. “This is an opportunity to be in an environment where it’s all women, where they can feel safe and comfortable and be encouraged to ask questions and do hands-on activities.”
Boorman acknowledges that at the middle school level, being picked on for being a participating student that loves to learn can happen. The school system doesn’t want that.
She says they don’t want their students stifled by stereotypes, so there will be plenty of female professors and employees in the various fields that will help demonstrate to the young girls in attendance that it’s OK to be the one raising your hand to answer a question.
“We want these girls to feel encouraged to participate actively in the lab activities. We have some fabulous role models from around our community with fascinating careers that can inspire the girls,” Boorman said.
The event will cost $5, which includes a t-shirt and lunch. Boorman says those helping put on the event are all volunteers.
Pinova is a community partner and corporate sponsor that helps cover the additional costs.
Registration is open through Wednesday, she says, and all local schools have received registration packet information.
Parents can contact their child’s school or visit the website www.expandingyourhorizons.org/conferences/EYHCollegeofCoastalGeorgia/.
The Brunswick News