Expand Your Horizons participants examine artifacts in
zooarchaeology workshop. (photo Jana Lawton)
LaDawn Haws, Mathematics, demonstrated the workings of static electricity and delivered opening remarks to the group. "It is so important for young women to learn all they can about science and mathematics. This knowledge could open the door to a career that will allow them to support themselves and also be very fulfilling. Without math and science, many career options are not available," said Haws.
Stacy Miller and Christine Hantelman from AVL Looms, a local company, told students about how computerized looms can be programmed to weave different types of cloth. Students did some hand weaving and experimented with different patterns. One participant said, " I never knew weaving and cloth-making could use science and math."
Rose White, Denise Furlong, Erin Potter, and Lucia Led, Archeaology, conducted a workshop. One activity challenged participants to decide what certain artifacts might have been used for and to determine if artifacts provided environmental information.
Brandi Yarimi, one of the coordinators of the conference and the coordinator of the center, said, "I've always been interested in science, and never found my niche. To see girls exposed to all of these fields that have been traditionally male was exciting to me."
The local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) helped coordinate the conference. Jana Lawton, program chair for AAUW, said, "One of our missions is educational equity for women and girls. There may be more opportunities now, but girls are still not participating in math and science in the numbers one might expect given the opportunities. The encouragement and exposure the Horizons conference provided is an important step in increasing the representation of women in those fields."