Expanding Your Horizons Seeks UK Students to be STEM Role Models

By Carol Lea Spence

Amelia Baylon, NRES student, helps middle-school students measure a tree during 2017 Expanding Your Horizons STEM workshop. Photo by Carol Lea Spence.

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons invite University of Kentucky undergraduate and graduate students to apply to be workshop leaders at this year’s conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 21 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to and create excitement for the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they don’t see women in a variety of different STEM careers. Lacking those role models, they may not realize the options that exist,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons addresses that problem by introducing young students to women who are either currently pursuing a STEM degree or are working in one of the fields. UK students will receive course credit to design and lead the workshops, which can cover everything from physics to natural resources to chemistry to microbiology, Crocker said. Groups of up to four people can apply. Students will be paired with faculty mentors to help design their workshops.

“It is a great opportunity to hone your leadership and teaching skills, while giving back,” she said.

To apply to lead a workshop, interested students should submit a brief application at www.tinyurl.com/eyhleader18  by Jan. 8. Email Ellen Crocker at e.crocker@uky.eduwith questions.

Expanding Your Horizons is presented by the UK colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; and Engineering.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue


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