2nd Annual Expanding Your Horizons STEM Conference for Middle School Girls March 18, 2017, Saint Mary’s College

The STEM conference is back again in 2017 for a repeat performance! After a successful first year in 2016, the local American Association of University Women (AAUW) branch, in partnership with the nonprofit Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) and the College of Science at Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, is once again hosting a day of exciting STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities for middle school-aged girls on Saturday March 18, 2017 at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA.

Registration for an unbelievable set of hands on workshops, facilitated by successful STEM professionals and students, is only $25.00. Not to be forgotten, attending parents can register to attend a special early morning panel of Professional Women who will address “Touchpoints: Achieving Wellness and Academic Success”.

This year’s Conference will open with keynote speaker Jessica Mah, CEO, inDinero, and close with speaker Christina Cragholm, Business Development Leader in Mobile and Internet of Things. The Conference itself offers an increased number of activities to choose from, with a total of 18 workshops in which girls can participate. Girls can attend three of these entertaining and diversified workshops, which are led by distinguished STEM professionals. Returning workshops include the FBI Crime Scene Investigation and the Learning to Design and Build Bridges activities, while new offerings include Flying Machines: An Intro to Aerospace Engineering and Coding from "Scratch": Get Creative with Coding.

Last year’s Conference drew over 120 girls, some from as far away as Pacifica. This year, AAUW hopes that even more middle school girls can participate in order to accommodate everyone who is interested. AAUW has long sent a small group of seventh grade girls to Tech Trek, a weeklong STEM-intensive camp at Stanford University. Unfortunately, many interested nominees are not selected to participate given the limited spots available. The day-long STEM conference, open to all middle school girls, aims to engage as many young minds as possible in the fascinating world of science, technology, math, and engineering.

Ally Scarpitti, a former Stanford Tech Trekker who volunteered at last year’s STEM conference, remarks, “This conference is put on so that all interested girls are able to attend a mini Tech Trek-type conference for a day.” Many Tech Trek alumni such as Scarpitti have remained an integral part of the program, returning to serve as facilitators and to help co- chairs Stacia Cragholm and Heidi Mayer plan the conference.

Cara Wolfe is another Stanford Tech Trek alum who volunteered at last year’s STEM Conference and is once again volunteering her efforts to help make this year’s Conference another success. She too emphasizes the role that AAUW has played in supporting her passion for STEM. “I’m so thankful for the life-changing exposure to STEM fields that AAUW has provided,” Wolfe gushes. “Through Tech Trek and the local AAUW branch, I have met so many professional women in STEM who have inspired me. This conference will hopefully expose even more girls to the incredible STEM world and encourage them to pursue their passions. ”

For more information and to reserve your space, go to http://www.expandingyourhorizons.org/conferences/AAUWSAINTMARYS/. The registration website opens January 27, 2017. AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881.

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