CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC4 News) – Nearly 400 girls grades six through nine attended a STEM conference at North Davis Junior High Saturday morning.
Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, held the 17th annual company-sponsored Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference.
The young women were given the opportunity to explore new fields of study in science, math and technical careers, where men are still in the majority. At the conference, the students were able to attend three workshops selected from more than 25 options.
Women leaders in math, science and technical professions taught the hands-on workshops, giving the students a sense of what a career in these fields would be like and providing them with female role models.
Erica Sandoval, Senior Principal Manufacturing Engineer at Orbital ATK, kicked off the event with a keynote speech. “Explore your interests and skills until you find the right fit,” said Erica. “I changed my mind lots of times about what I wanted to do until I found the right thing for me.”
The workshops spanned a variety of fun, hands-on activities, including learning what it takes to be a doctor, a rocket scientist, a chemist, an engineer, a computer programmer and more. The young women who attended the EYH conference came from more than 75 schools throughout Northern Utah.
Two sixth grade students from West Clinton Elementary were attending EYH for the first time this year and said the workshops are really fun. “There are lots of nice people here, and the experience of learning new things is awesome!” said Brooklyn Harward and Jessica Simons. “Our favorite workshop so far is Slughorn’s Slime.”
“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – STEM fields are important and can be so much fun,” says Meghan Capra, this year’s chairperson. “I love going to work every day, and that’s a wonderful feeling.” Capra is a Process Engineering Manager at Orbital ATK in Promontory, Utah.
The Expanding Your Horizons Network is a national organization whose charge is to spark the interest of young women to pursue careers in math and science fields.
The goals of the Expanding Your Horizons program is to promote how math and science can be fun, provide opportunities for young women to meet and learn about careers from women working in math- and science-related fields and encourage young women to take full advantage of opportunities to gain the maximum amount of education in math and science before graduating from high school.