Registration is open for Shepherd University’s sixth annual Seeding Your Future Conference (SYFC) for middle school-age girls, which will take place Saturday, October 26, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Seeding Your Future is free and open to anyone who identifies as a girl in grade 5-8, or home-school equivalent, and who is interested in learning more about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Registrants are asked to sign up for the conference by Friday, October 11.
“The Seeding Your Future Conference seeks to inspire young women to see STEM as something fun that they are capable of doing,” said Dr. Sytil Murphy, associate professor of physics and one of the event organizers. “During SYFC, they will interact with women in STEM at all stages and from a diversity of careers. We want them to see the possibilities and to help define what a physicist or chemist or engineer does, so someday they too will be women in STEM.”
Thanks to a newly developed partnership with Shepherd’s Fine Art, Science, Technology, Engineering, Educational Resource (FASTEnER) Lab, this year’s conference will offer more workshops that merge art with STEM. In some workshops participants will be able to learn about plant biology while making prints of leaves or using a laser cutter. Some will explore physics concepts by creating their own Alexander Calder inspired mobile sculpture. Or, they might learn about the recycling process and structure of paper while making it.
“Combining art and STEM helps foster collaboration and creative thinking that the Seeding Your Future Initiative hopes to inspire in young women,” said Kay Dartt, FASTEnER Lab manager.
Throughout the day, participants will be able to interact with numerous STEM professionals and will participate in three to four hands-on workshops. Some favorites from previous years are back again this year, such as “Colorful Chemistry” and “Seeing Sounds, Hearing Pictures.” Participants may also have the opportunity to experience an inflatable planetarium during the “Exploring the Night Sky with NASA’s Star Lab” workshop, learn about the process of recycling during “DIY Paper Recycling,” and create animations of themselves during “A Website from Scratch.”
The Seeding Your Future Conference is funded by grants from Women Investing in Shepherd and the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Extension and Public Outreach Program.
For more information and to register, visit https://seedingyourfuture.weebly.com/.