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MSMU Hosts Workshops Geared Toward Strengthening Girls' Interest in Sciences

Los Angeles – March 17, 2008 – As part of a far-reaching effort to encourage girls to pursue math and science careers, a group of women who are math and science professionals are hosting the Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Career Conference on Saturday, March 22 at Mount Saint Mary’s University. More than 200 girls are registered for the 29th annual conference, which is specifically tailored for middle school girls in grades 5-8 from greater Los Angeles schools.

Recent studies have shown that girls often lose interest in and stop taking math and science courses earlier than boys. This phenomenon has resulted in girls having fewer career options available to them. This annual mentoring and educational conference at the College is designed to close the gap for females and minorities who are typically under represented in these fields.

"Expanding Your Horizons is dedicated to introducing girls to careers in math, science, and engineering through women professionals who share how they use math and science in their jobs," says Dr. Eleanor Siebert, the College's provost and academic vice president, as well as an award-winning chemistry professor and former chair of the College's Physical Sciences and Mathematics Department. "We focus on reaching girls in the middle-school years in order to inspire them to take more math and science in high school in preparation for college work. Our goal is to continue to close the gender gap and increase the rich diversity of ideas by attracting and promoting women in these fields."

During the sold-out conference, students will participate in hands-on workshops, such as dissecting pig hearts, isolating DNA, and making colors with chemistry. The conference also offers workshops for parents, teachers, and counselors to teach them how to nurture girls to pursue math and science career fields. The event's keynote speaker is Dr. Sue, a leading entomologist who is known for enthralling students with her menagerie of insects and arthropods.

The event takes place from 8:45 am to 2:45 pm in Building 4 on the Doheny Campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University, located at 10 Chester Place in downtown Los Angeles. To make the conference affordable for all participating students, the event's registration cost was only $10.

The Expanding Your Horizons conference at Mount Saint Mary’s University is organized by Math/Science Interchange, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting math and science education for girls. Conference organizers are volunteers from Los Angeles area universities and companies who also raise funds from local organizations to support the event.

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