Dozens of Maine schoolteachers attending the 26th Expanding Your Horizons conference March 14 at the University of Maine will have two new learning opportunities added to the program this year.
At 9 a.m. in 100 D.P. Corbett Business Building, they will gather for a Maine Girls Collaborative Project panel discussion about working with girls with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. At 1 p.m. in D.P. Corbett, an afternoon workshop will explore strategies for encouraging Native American girls to pursue STEM subjects in school. Both sessions are free and public.
Joining the discussion about working with girls with disabilities will be Janet May, coordinator of transition and adults at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies at UMaine. Maria Girouard, assistant coordinator of student development and outreach at the UMaine Wabanaki Center and a Native American history and culture educator, will participate in the afternoon session on guiding Native American girls toward STEM careers.
Cosponsored by the UMaine Women’s Resource Center, Division of Lifelong Learning, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine, the conference will host the teachers and more than 500 seventh- and eighth-grade girls for the daylong event, held to introduce girls to STEM subjects. Students with UMaine guides will participate in various STEM workshops on campus throughout the day.
The underpinning of the conference is to address a shortage of women in STEM fields. Conference participants will have opportunities to meet and hear stories from successful women working in science and math fields.
Expanding Your Horizons has been successful in giving seventh- and eighth-grade girls a better understanding of relationships between math and science and possible career choices and informing them about nontraditional or less-publicized career choices, according to the Women’s Resource Center.
The center’s director, Sharon Barker, says the event literally expands girls’ horizons and understanding of the wide range of STEM careers available to them.
For additional information or to request disability accommodations, contact Faye Boyle, 207.581.1508 or 207.581.1501.