Expanding Your Horizons event at Edmonds College exposes girls to opportunities in STEM

Edmonds College hosted 160 girls from eighth to 12th grade for an Expanding Your Horizons event on April 27. The annual event is designed to maximize young women’s exposure to STEM careers, content and role models and was part of the nationwide Techbridge Girls’ STEM events.

“The college is excited to host the Expanding Your Horizons conference in person for the first time since 2019,” said Director of Outreach Marc Gehlsen. “The event is a great way for students to hear from female leaders in STEM and shows them that there is room for them to sit at the table and accomplish many amazing things.”

Students networked with leaders in the STEM field, like Boeing director and former Edmonds College Board of Trustees member Dr. Tia Benson Tolle, and attended various workshops. The workshops covered a wide range of STEM topics, including forensic DNA testing, sustainable fisheries, moon rover construction, simple machine design, and more. For many of the students, the event was their first experience on a college campus. This year’s keynote speaker was Elise Castorina, a Boeing engineer who has been instrumental in the company’s 777X, 777 and 787 programs. Castorina is a Filipina American and a native Seattleite who is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership, Women in Structures Engineering, and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering.

“It is vital for girls to meet and hear from successful professional women in STEM fields as the male-dominated stereotype still holds true for many of those careers,” said Edmonds STEM Program Manager Su Nelson. “Whether they see a Filipina engineer or an African-American environmental scientist, Expanding Your Horizons allows students to hear from professional women about what they do, what barriers they overcame to get there, and so much more.”

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