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Register early for science program aimed at girls

​Assistant professor of animal science at the Ohio State University, Lisa Bielke, right, used eggs and baby chicks as models to explain embryonic development to fifth- and sixth-grade girls during one of the many sessions offered during the 2017 Expanding Your Horizons workshop held at the College of Wooster.

Karen Skubik

Baby chicks, computers, hand-made rockets, microscopes and x-rays, these are just some of the many items that girls who attend the 2018 Expanding Your Horizons workshop will have at their disposal on April 14.
The 27th annual event is open to all fifth- and sixth-grade girls in Wayne, Holmes and Ashland counties. Registration materials were sent to all area schools in late February, and the deadline to sign up is fast approaching. Anyone who did not receive a brochure should check with their teacher or go to www.eyhwooster.wordpress.com to learn more.
Sixth-grade student Hailee North from Big Prairie attended the event as a fifth-grader last year and said, “I loved it so much that I’m doing it again this year."
Each student gets to choose their favorite activities to attend out of a selection of 22.
“The classes that I signed up for were great,” North said, "but the most enjoyable one was The Humpty Dumpty Experiment.”
The session title may sound cute, but the experiment takes on a slightly serious note when taught by College of Wooster associate professor of physics, Susan Lehman. The girls build egg-packaging devices, which are then dropped from a high altitude and checked to see if the egg survived the fall.
North said “I hope that everyone gets to try it” and touted the day-long workshop as a great opportunity for anyone who likes hands-on activities.
Some examples of other sessions girls will attend include Brain Power, Happiness Is a Healthy Pet, Solve the Plant Mystery, Edible Landfill, Science and Yoga, and Doctor Detective.
Although Expanding Your Horizons workshops started decades ago when there were fewer women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, the local planning committee, which is comprised of scientists, teachers, college students and retired teachers, still feels it is important to motivate girls and provide them an opportunity to learn about careers in STEM fields.
Ohio State University assistant professor Lisa Bielke was a presenter for the first time in 2017 and said, “It’s important to expose students to science beyond standard classroom instruction because it is impossible for school teachers to show children all the wonderful possibilities available to them in science. Expanding Your Horizons is an excellent opportunity for successful female scientists to teach girls about a variety of opportunities in science that they may not have thought about before.”
For example Bielke brought in baby chicks and eggs to her session, knowing that most people she meets have no idea what types of research can be completed with chickens and that it can have a real impact on humans.
“Expanding Your Horizons is a chance to open that door to young women and show them that there is a world of possibilities waiting for them in science,” Bielke said.
Bielke said she enjoyed the students who came to her class, The Incredible Egg, and looks forward to doing it again this year. “It was truly a blast to watch them discover how embryos develop into chicks," she said.
While some were hesitant to pick up the forceps and dissect the embryos, they were all curious to learn about how an animal that seems nothing like people can be used to study growth and development in humans.
The workshop takes place on the College of Wooster campus on one Saturday every spring. The attendees are escorted to their classes by College of Wooster female student volunteers for safety, and the girls get an added benefit of seeing the insides of several science buildings.
College of Wooster president and professor of physics, Sarah Bolton, will provide the opening words, and the lunchtime presentation will be by Laura Kubiak, an educator and founder of the H2you Project. Kubiak’s slide show is titled “Global Water from the Arctic to the Antarctic."
Kubiak has explored and observed water quality in 33 countries plus the Arctic and the Antarctic but has unfortunately found trash in bodies of water all around the world. This inspired her to create the H2you Project, which aims to start a global conversation about water in our daily lives.
Registration for Expanding Your Horizons ends March 21, and early application is suggested because participation is limited to the first 225 forms received.

Published: March 13, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180309962