Stillman Hosts Expanding Your Horizon Conference
The Expanding Your Horizon (EYH) Conference was held on Stillman’s campus March 25, 2011. The mission of the conference was to encourage girls in grades 6-8 to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Designed with concurrent sessions, the girls in middle schools from Black Belt Counties participated in career exploration in such areas as biology, dentistry, physical therapy, medicine, food science, and chemistry. Girls had the opportunity to meet and interact with professional and successful women in STEM fields during small groups, hands-on workshops during the hours from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
This project represents a grant written by Dr. Linda Bradford, Dean of Professional Education and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. Eligible partnerships for this initiative include Hale, Pickens, Greene, and Lowndes Counties with Stillman’s Division of Professional Education and Division of Arts and Sciences.
“These efforts will strengthen STEM concepts in lower grades that will consequently impact higher grades, careers, and build capacity to foster sustainability, said Bradford. “National studies do indicate that boys and girls report equal interest and confidence in STEM subjects in elementary school. However, by the sixth grade, girls begin to perceive them as subjects for boys and their interest starts waning.”
EYH is based on the following assumptions:
1. In order to increase the participation of females in mathematics and science careers, there must be an increase in the pool of qualified women.
2. In order for young females to have the option to enter mathematics and science careers, they need to choose to take the appropriate mathematics and science courses in high school.
3. In order for young females to show interest in STEM, intervention strategies are needed that increase the participation of girls in mathematics by nurturing enjoyment and confidence in mathematic, by connecting the value of mathematics to career opportunities, by providing career role models, and by actively encouraging girls to persevere in mathematics coursework.
Organized by Dr. Bettye Mullen, Director of Educational Support Services, and her staff, the program included concurrent sessions that included some of the following topics:
An Arresting Affair
Sgt. Tina Williams
A Chef’s Life
Ms. Karen Lewis
Hello, I’m Speaking to You
Dr. Priscilla Davis
Dr. Pamela Foster
A Toothy Affair
Drs. Belinda and Melinda Rhodes
Dr. Rosanna Gray
That’s A Wrap
Ms. Vernita Young
Dr. Linda Forte’
Moderators for the various sessions were Dr. Tamara Roberts, Dr. Phyllis Williams, Dr. Sandra Jemison, Dr. Kimberly Glenn, Ms. Charissa Johnson, Ms. Beverly Moore, Ms. Fahmida, and Ms. Elizabeth Lowe. Other contributors were Ms. Veronica Clark, Mrs. Luanne Baker, Mr. Steve Lockhart, and Mr. Russell Rivers.
“Through this worthwhile approach, the our ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges. We will continue to provide opportunities that will increase the quality of life for these students who will become involved in STEM careers now that will impact their later lives,” said Bradford.
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