Expanding Your Horizons at Skyline


Larissa Barreto Cavalcante

Students who attend the event use laptops to participate in a workshop.

Expanding Your Horizons is an annually-held event that holds career opportunities workshops focused on math, science, and technology for sixth through twelve grade young women at Skyline College.
The idea of encouraging women to be involved in math and science was the starting point explained Christine Case, a Skyline biology professor, who founded and co-chairs EYH.
Case said that in 1979, a group of faculty thought about it and then in 1980 they held the first conference. They have been doing it every March since then.
The registration was online and the girls could choose what workshop they would want to be in. If it was full, then they would be placed in another one. High school students could earn 0.5 units of college credit.
On March 16, the event started at 9 a.m, after the pick-up registration packet, with General Assembly I, then the girls were able to go to the workshops. After two workshops during the morning, they had lunch, followed by the last workshop and General Assembly II.
There was also a problem & puzzle contest, the winners were announced at the final general assembly. They could get a day with a scientist or tickets to one of these places: Aquarium of the Bay, Children`s discovery Museum, CuriOdyssey at Coyote Point, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gilroy Gardens, Hiller Aviation Museum, San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, The Marine Mamal Center or Walt Disney Family Museum.
“It is going smoothly,” Case said when asked how it was going. “It looks like the girls are having fun.”
The girls were able able to learn about life sciences, health sciences, physical science and engineering.
They got to experience workshops such as Echotronic, where they found out how bats can navigate in darkness and also were able to see circuit boards and coding; San Francisco ZooMobile: Shifting the Balance, where they saw threats animals face, their habitats, and what can be done to restore nature’s balance; Finding Patient Zero!, where they saw how epidemic and pandemics occur; Human trait scavenger, where they could learn more about themselves and why they do not like certain foods; The Scientist in the Kitchen: Molecular Gastronomy, where they could explore the physical and chemical changes that happen when you cook.
“I like how you get to go up close and experience things you don’t normally do,” said Venuz Diaz, who is 14 years old, during the lunch break.
Margaret Victa, who is 13 years old, talked about how she learned to make milk from scratch and how animals are extinct.
“I like it since I get to experience what it is like in a young age to be in college,” Victa said.
The campus was full of girls and there were volunteers around campus to help people out, and also people helping in the workshops.
Daria Genzel-Wehrdritz, one of the workshop leaders, said it went better than expected. She said it went smoothly and she had enough helpers.
Alice, a volunteer, talked about how she did not know about this kind of event when she was young.
“Young girls are coming with interest to learn more about this, which I think is awesome,” she said.
It was the 39th San Mateo County Expanding Your Horizons in Math and Science Conference.
“The best jobs in the country are math and science related,” Case said. “So we want to encourage young women to pursue math and science education.”