For another year, Expanding Your Horizons has welcomes more than 350 middle school aged girls to the UW-Madison campus to spend a day socializing and meeting with professional scientists (who identify as women). The university has been hosting programs to support girls/women in STEM sincethe 1950s, and EYH in particular has made it easier for girls to find role models and see accurate representations of what scientists really are and what they do. Middle school is a very challenging time for all students, and research shows that it is also the time when girls lose interest in STEM subjects. There are many reasons why this is, but since most people think of an Einstein-like figure when they think “scientist”, it is not hard to understand that girls may not be able to see themselves as scientists.
That is why Expanding Your Horizons is so important! Society has realized that girls and women deserve to have options for what they want to do with their lives, and some may chose to be scientists, engineers, or mathematicians. While women are by no means minotiritized in the general population, they are in STEM. In order to be fair to everyone (and to get the best science possible!), we need to support great events like Expanding Your Horizons.