Girls explore engineering careers at conference

eyh (Download Image) More than 300 local girls attended the 38th annual Tri-Valley Expanding Your Horizons conference.

More than 300 local girls, excited to learn about engineering, flocked to the Las Positas Campus on Saturday for the 38th annual Tri-Valley Expanding Your Horizons (TVEYH) conference.

The goal of the conference is to spark girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a fun environment. This year’s theme, "#ilooklikeanengineer," celebrated the engineering aspect of STEM with the intention of building awareness of careers in engineering.

Participants, spanning grades 6 through 9, came from Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon and Tracy to attend the daylong event, participating in special group activities along with two 90-minute hands-on workshops in engineering, chemistry, biology, computer science, environmental science, robotics, etc. The day also featured a career fair comprised of 16 booths that allowed participants to learn about different career opportunities and engage with professional women role models in STEM-related careers.

"I particularly enjoyed the career fair and the 'Fun With Science" presentation,'" said Kendall Parry, a sixth grader at Valley Montessori. "Fun With Science was really interesting and I loved the part with liquid nitrogen. It was also cool learning about all the different careers. Overall, it was really fun and I’m looking forward to going again next year."

The annual conference is coordinated by a core committee of volunteers with the help of more than 100 additional volunteers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Sandia National Laboratories/California, Las Positas College and the American Association of University Women. More than 40 LLNL employees were involved in making TVEYH a successful event.

"Planning a large-scale event such as this is time consuming, but fortunately we have a great team from both LLNL and Sandia to pull it off successfully," said Kim Hallock, Kim Hallock, conference co-chair and an LLNL employee who has been involved in the planning for TVEYH for the past six years. "The energy and the excitement from the girls’ is contagious and it makes all the effort worthwhile and rewarding, just knowing that you helped to create that enthusiasm and to open the eyes of these young ladies to the possibilities of STEM education and careers."

Individuals interested in volunteering at next year’s conference can send an tveyh [at] (e-mail).

For more information about the conference, visit the TVEYH website.

More photos from this year's conference will be available soon in the TVEYH photo gallery.