Thank you for checking out the FAQ area for the Chicago Expanding your Horizons 2020 Conference. This area has been prepared to help you better understand the mission and goals of Expanding Your Horizons conferences for young women and to let you know what to expect the day of the conference.

General Questions
For Parents and Teachers
Workshop Leaders
About Registration
Miscellaneous Questions

General Questions

Q: What is Expanding Your Horizons (EYH)?
A: The Chicago EYH is a career conference specially designed for girls in grades 6 through 8 from local school districts. The conference encourages girls interest in science and mathematics and provides positive female role models in science, math, and engineering careers. At EYH conferences girls don’t just hear about science, they do science!

Q: What are the impacts of Expanding Your Horizons conferences?
A: Expanding Your Horizons conferences for young women:
1) Provide a forum for girls to engage with women involved in STEM.
2) Promote interaction with peers in hands-on activities.
3) Introduce girls to a variety of STEM careers and encourage them to pursue the exploration of STEM.

Q: What will I do at an EYH?
A: You’ll participate in several hands-on workshops that will be taught by scientists, engineers, or other professionals and involve hands-on interactive instruction. Hands-on workshops include activities such as playing with lego robots, extracting their own DNA, and bridge building.  You’ll meet with female role models who work in a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and careers and hear their stories.  You’ll learn how fulfilling and exciting STEM careers can be and they begin to change their perceptions of the women who work in these careers.

Q: When will the EYH 2020 conference be held? 
A: The 2020 Chicago EYH conference will be held on Saturday, March 28th, 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The Parent and Teacher Programs will take place between 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Q: Where will the EYH 2020 conference be held? 
A: The 2020 Chicago EYH conference will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Morning check-in details will be available soon.

Q: Is food provided?
A: Conference attendees are provided with a snack and lunch such as pizza and veggies.  If your student has a special diet, please pack a lunch for her.

Q: What is the association between Techbridge Girls and Expanding Your Horizons?
A: EYH is associated on a national level with Techbridge Girls, an award-winning leader and innovator in informal STEM education that champions equity in STEM and fair access to economic opportunity. Since 2000, Techbridge Girls has trained over 7,000 girls, 20,000 educators, 1,400 family members, and 1,000 volunteers.


Q: Who is eligible to participate in EYH Chicago?
A: We invite all girls in grades 6-8 to register for our annual conference on March 28th, 2020 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Q: When does registration open?
A: Conference and workshop registration is currently OPEN. We encourage you to register early to secure your spot for the conference!

Q: How do I register for the conference?
A: Students can register directly on this website HERE. The registration fee is $5 per student and free for parents.  Need based scholarships will be available by simply checking the scholarship box next to the payment information in the registration.  Payment will be required to ensure your spot in the conference and must be received by the payment deadline

After completing the registration process, you’ll receive a confirmation email.  You will receive your schedule with assigned workshops at registration on the day of the conference.

Q: What if I cannot afford the registration fee?
A: Please select “scholarship request” under the payment options on the registration page. You should receive a notification email before March. Please contact us at registration@eyhchicago.com if you have not received this confirmation within 1 week of registration.

Q: What happens if I don’t send payment in on time?
A: Due to the high demand of this event, we prefer that all registered girls have paid by the payment deadline. If you have requested a scholarship and received confirmation by this date, your spot is guaranteed as well. If you do not send in payment by the deadline because you would prefer to pay in cash, please note that you will be submitting payment on the day of the event in your registration form (see directions below).

Q: Can I pay the day of for the conference?
A: While we prefer that payment be made beforehand, payment may be submitted in cash on the day of the conference, if preferred. We ask that you note this on the registration form in the field for requesting a fee waiver. Simply specify that you will be paying in cash on the day of the event.

Q: I paid for the conference but now cannot attend. Can I get a refund?
A: To request a refund, please send an email to registration@eyhchicago.com

Q: I am a teacher and would like to register my entire class. Can I do this?
A: We do not hold spots for classes or groups. However, teachers may register interested students as as long as registration is open. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you register your students, please make sure that your student brings a parent-signed permission form.

Q: Do parents or teachers need to register as well?
A: Parents and teachers are not required to stay for the event and may drop off their students and pick them up in the afternoon. However, we do have a Parent Program for interested parents that will have different speakers talk about other ways that parents and teachers can support STEM interests of girls. This year, we will also host a Teacher Program as well. We do ask that you register if you plan to attend these events, as we need a headcount to plan properly.

Q: Can my mom be with me the day of the conference?
A: No, parents are invited to attend the parents program which will consist of a number of informative speakers and panels or explore the local neighborhood.

Q: Is my student guaranteed to get her top 3 choices of workshops?
A: Unfortunately, no. We are coordinating the scheduling of about 300 girls into 21 different workshops, and some workshops may fill faster than others. Students who register earlier are given preference for their desired workshops. However, all of our workshops are of high quality with passionate workshop leaders, and your student may find herself interested in a field she had never heard of before if she attends a workshop that she had not initially been interested in!

Q: I tried to register but it says that registration is full. What do I do?
A: Please sign up for the waiting list if you are still interested in attending. Students will be moved off the waiting list in the order that they sign up for it as spots become available. We will send a confirmation within a week before the conference if no more spots are available.

Q: I am a middle school teacher but I teach 5th grade. Can my 5th grade students attend this conference?
A: Unfortunately no. Due to the high demand of the conference and the limited number of spots, we do restrict the age group from 6th-8th grade. 5th grade students are welcome to attend in future years.

For Parents and Teachers

Q: Can you guarantee that my student has the same schedule as her friend?
A. Unfortunately not. It is possible for two girls attending the same three workshops to have different schedules, as each workshop is running at three different times. We do need to take into consideration the needs of all of our attendees.

Q: When do we know what workshops were assigned to our daughter?
A: Your daughter will receive her workshop assignments at on-site registration the morning of the EYH conference.

Q: Do I need to pre-register to attend the adult programs?
A: Please pre-register so that we will have an estimate of how many people will be participating. Registration is free and attendees will be provided lunch.

Q: What can I expect in the Parent Program?
A: The Parent Program will include workshops including how to select a strong high school program, how to finance your daughter’s education, and how to better understand college admission requirements.  This year we will also have some representatives from other programs for girls to get more involved in STEM. The program will take place on Saturday, March 28th 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Parent Program registration is now OPEN!

Q: What can I expect in the Teacher Program?
A: The EYH Teacher Program will be based on programming offered by a partner organization, InSciEd Out. To learn more InSciEdOut and the kind of programming you can expect, check out their website. The program will take place on Saturday, March 28th 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Q: Are there childcare arrangements for siblings of the students while parents attend the Parent Program? 
A: Yes! For the first time ever, EYH will be offering free childcare services for children of parents attending the Parent Program. Childcare services will be run by Chicago Super Sitters. Throughout the day kids will be able to play games, do activities, and watch a movie. We have plans to allow children 4 years and up, but if you have a younger child and would like childcare please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate.

Q: Will there be parking available? 
A: Parking will be available in the Halsted St Parking Structure (intersection of Halsted & Taylor) for $5; a ticket is required but parking vouchers will be available at EYH Registration.

Q: Is there accessible public transportation to the conference? 
A: UIC is accessible by CTA – The Blue Line (UIC-Halsted, Racine and Illinois Medical District stops) and the Pink Line (Polk stop) connect the campus with downtown, O’Hare International Airport, northwest and west side neighborhoods of Chicago, and the western suburbs of Oak Park, Forest Park and Cicero. More details are available on our Transportation page.

Q: What time does my student need to arrive?
A: The opening ceremony begins at 9 am. Check-in opens at 8 am. We advise that students arrive by 8:30 am to ensure that they have plenty of time to check in, receive their t-shirt and goody bag, and get a seat in the auditorium.
Q: Can parents or teachers attend the workshops with their students?
A: Unfortunately no. Some of the workshop rooms only have enough space for the workshop leaders and student participants. To avoid any safety concerns, we ask that parents who stay attend the parent’s program instead.

Q: Is lunch provided?
A: Lunch IS provided for all attendees (students, parents, volunteers) and will most likely be pizza. However, we cannot accommodate dietary restrictions. If your student has any special dietary needs, we ask that you bring a packed lunch with the student’s name on it. We can store it for her until lunch (please be advised that we cannot guarantee refrigeration).

Q: Are chaperones required for school groups?

A: EYH prefers that school groups bring a chaperone and that at least one chaperone is a teacher. In addition, we require that each student has a signed waiver form. If you are organizing a group from your school, you may need to check with your school’s policy on number of chaperones.

Workshop Leaders

Q: What are some examples of workshops? I am interested but don’t know what a workshop looks like. 
A: You can view last year’s workshops here. We will review every submission and send edits/suggestions to help you craft the best version of your workshop. Volunteers, equipment, and material may be requested.  We will attempt to fulfill as many workshop requests as possible.

Q: What kinds of workshops are you looking for? Are you focusing on industry, academia or something else?
A: We’d like anything and everything, from traditional academic routes to less traditional STEM fields like metalsmithing or agriculture.  Our goal is to provide the young women attending EYH a diverse and exciting view of STEM careers.

Q: What does someone commit to if they are doing a workshop? 
A: Workshops are 60 minutes long with 10-15 students. Each workshop will take place 2-3 times and include an introduction, hands-on activity, and discussion. Additionally, there is a workshop leader training to allow leaders to see the venue, finalize their workshop, and ask further questions approximately six to eight weeks before the conference.

Q: I might not be able to commit to a workshop but I may be able to donate to either the goody bags or raffle. 
A: That’s great!  We can use anything, no matter how random–water, pencils for the goody bags (~200), notepads for the goody bags, food, etc.  Anyone who donates can have their logo promoted on our website and on our tshirts and other materials as a thank you!  If you would like to donate items, please contact us at donations@eyhchicago.com.

Q: How should I structure my workshop?

The suggested workshop structure is:
(1) Relevant Icebreaker
(2) Leader Introductions
(3) Activity
(4) Reflection on Skills Learned
We ask that our workshop leaders review these resources to learn more about workshop development.

Miscellaneous Questions

Q: Can you provide contact information for your speakers or workshop leaders?
A: We may be able to if the speaker or workshop leader has consented. Please fill out the contact form with your request and a committee member will get back to you.

Q: What other programs are available for girls who are interested in STEM?
A: Our parents’ program will have speakers from some other local organizations who also run STEM-related programs. Also, check out our science resource page for other STEM programs in the Chicago area.

Q: This is a great program! How can I help?
A: We are still looking for volunteers for the day-of. If you are a parent or teacher and are interested in seeing the behind-the-scenes of EYH, please sign up! We will need volunteers from approximately 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., but not all volunteer jobs have to last all day.  Example positions include helping with registration, setting up and assisting workshop leaders, ushering participants between locations, distributing lunch, and cleaning up facilities.  There will be breakfast, lunch, and a reception with food and refreshments for volunteers at the end of the day. Please register as a volunteer on our website!

Q: I would love to donate to help support EYH. Is this possible?
A: Yes! Please go to our donation page to make a personal donation or to find out how your organization can donate. Every little bit helps!