Science and math conference guides young girls

Linda A Lucchetti, LLNL, (925) 422-5815, lucchetti1@llnl.gov

EYH volunteers Matt Dickerson (far right) and Pat Chase lead a workshop on testing the properties of hazardous materials.

Last month, 471 young women in grades 6 through 12 descended on the University of the Pacific in Stockton to see science in action and meet professionals in science- and math-related careers at the San Joaquin Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference.

The goal of the conference is to spark interest in math and science for girls in grades 6-12, and was coordinated by 12 volunteers with the help of 300 additional volunteers who worked at the event from Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories, University of the Pacific as well as  the community.

Twenty-seven hands-on workshops were offered with titles including: Bristle Bots, Lego Robots, Ubiquitous Electronics, Water Rockets, and Computer Repair and Networking.

Participants came from far and wide across San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, many from Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Modesto, Brentwood, San Jose and Lodi.

"Thank you for one of the best experiences the girls have had," Marjorie Retzloff, a teacher at Cardozo Middle School in Riverbank told a conference organizer about bringing a group of students to their first EYH. "The workshops were excellent. I had a very diverse group and they met new people within our school and from the surrounding area."

"This is such a wonderful program for the girls, encouraging engineering and science, an area where we definitely need more students, especially women," said Stephanie Sakai-Cheng, mother of a conference participant.

For more information, go to the San Joaquin EYH Website.  For pictures from the 2011 conference, visit the photo page.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.