When the annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference – a day of hands-on science activities for 7th through 9th grade girls – was forced online due to the COVID-19 outbreak, organizers got some unexpected benefits.
The virtual format will allow for expansion – in recent years, the conference grew so popular that participation was limited to 500 students, selected by lottery. But now the April 18 event, hosted via Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube, will welcome students of all ages and genders from all locations for a full day of talks, panels, workshops and demonstrations.
“We’re doing our best to find the silver lining given the circumstances,” said Berit Goodge, a doctoral student in applied physics and EYH conference chair. “This year, with no limits on attendees, we are hoping to engage a much broader audience.”
Going online also gives EYH the opportunity to invite speakers from across the country, in what Goodge said is the most diverse lineup of speakers in EYH history.
Guests include a skyscraper engineer, Google developers and a science reporter, as well as leading Cornell scientists.
“We feel very strongly that the community experience of EYH is more important than ever,” Goodge said. “We hope Virtual EYH will give people a chance to connect remotely – not just with other students, but also with role models and mentors from across the country.”
For more information and the schedule of events, visit the Expanding Your Horizons at Cornell website.
– Katya Hrichak