San Diego Girls Expand their Horizons at USD

"Crime Scene Sleuths," "The Chemistry of Climate Science," and "The Hottest Stuff on Earth: Plasmas for Fusion Energy" are just a few of the exciting hands-on workshops that some 400 girls from all over San Diego County will take part in this Saturday at  the  10th annual Expanding Your Horizons conference at USD. The event takes place from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. in USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology.

The event introduces young women from sixth to 10th grade to "local women scientists who are making a difference in the community," explained Sue Lowery, conference co-chair and USD professor of biology. "We want them to imagine what it would be like to work as an engineer, computer scientist, biotechnology specialist, physician, systems analyst or a number of other different jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or (STEM)."

In addition to the various workshops, girls will dialogue with mentors on how solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, such as storing solar energy, finding safe drugs that can react to differences in individuals and providing water to everyone who needs it.

There will also be programs for parents including college admissions requirements and finding affordable options to pay for college, as well as a discussion on "Want Your Daughter to Be an Engineer? Better Watch What You Say," explaining how even subtle messages can discourage girls from considering STEM careers.

The EYH Network (formerly the Math/Science Network) started in 1974 as an informal group of women scientists and educators in the San Francisco Bay Area who were concerned about low female participating in math courses who began planning coordinated efforts to strengthen their individual programs and establish mutual support on a volunteer basis. Conferences are now held all over the country.

At the conferences, "we hope the students will meet women who inspire them and help them explore more how math and science can open up fabulous new avenues for them,”  Lowery said. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.