Thank you for checking out the FAQ area for the Chicago Expanding your Horizons 2021 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.
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.
*Please note that the conference will be held virtually this year to ensure the safety of all participants.
Q: When will the EYH 2021 conference be held?
A: The 2021 Chicago EYH conference will be held on Saturday, March 20th, 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM. The Parent and Teacher Programs will be held on Sunday, March 21st, between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM.
Q: Where will the EYH 2021 conference be held?
A: The 2021 Chicago EYH conference will be held virtually via Zoom. A link to join will be sent out to all participants before the conference.
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. While in usual years registration is only open to Chicago area residents, for 2021’s virtual conference we welcome any student to join regardless of location.
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. After completing the registration process you’ll receive a confirmation email.
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 long as registration is open. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you register on your student’s behalf, please make sure you include contact information for their parent or guardian.
Q: Do parents or teachers need to register as well?
A: Parents and teachers are not required to register, however, they will need to be present to monitor their child’s use of zoom. Additionally, 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. These events will take place the day after the student’s conference, Sunday March 21st. We do ask that you register if you plan to attend these events, so that we can send you the zoom connection information for the event.
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 27 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 child will receive their workshop assignments on the morning of the conference.
Q: Do I need to pre-register to attend the adult programs?
A: Please pre-register so that we will be able to send you the zoom link to the event. Registration is free.
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 child’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 Sunday, March 21st 12:30 PM to 4:00 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 Sunday, March 21st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
Q: What time does my student need to arrive?
A: The opening ceremony begins at 12:30 PM. Check-in opens at 12:15 PM. We advise that students arrive in the zoom session by 12:15 PM to ensure that they have plenty of time to be sorted into the correct workshop track..
Q: Can parents or teachers attend the workshops with their students?
A: Although parents or guardians will need to be present to monitor their student’s use of zoom, we ask that only the students interact with the workshops, to maximize their engagement and their fun!
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.
2021 Conference Notice: As this will be a virtual conference, Workshop leader training will take place remotely and will include instruction on how we plan to run zoom rooms.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How should I structure my workshop?
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 12 p.m. to 5 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!