On Nov. 3, Northrop Grumman sponsored the 18th annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference in Northern Utah. This conference focuses on familiarizing young women with the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Approximately 400 young women from grades six through nine attended the conference at North Davis Junior High, Clearfield, Utah.

A nation-wide organization, the EYH Network seeks to inspire girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, math and technical careers, where there are vast opportunities.

At the conference, the students attended three workshops selected from 25 options. Women in STEM professions taught hands-on workshops, empowering the participants to see themselves in STEM-related careers.

Lindsay Storrs, Utah’s 2News meteorologist, kicked off the event with a keynote speech. “Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something,” she said. “Set goals and do everything you can to achieve them.”

The workshops spanned a variety of interactive, hands-on activities, including learning what it takes to be a doctor, rocket scientist, chemist, engineer, computer programmer and more. The young women who attended the EYH conference came from more than 65 schools throughout Northern Utah.

Three sixth grade students from Uintah attended the conference for the first time said they are very happy they attended. Amy Long, Maya Smith and Dyllan Guay all say they hope they can come back every year. Why do they like the conference? Long said it’s because “there are so many fun choices of workshops to help me decide what I want to be when I grow up.” Do they have a favorite workshop? Sure! Cosmetic Chemistry, Patent Lawyers – You’re Supposed to Argue, Roller Coasters – License to Thrill, and on and on and on.

More than 6,500 young women have attended the Northrop Grumman-sponsored conference over the past 18 years. Many of those students have chosen to pursue college degrees in STEM fields, and some have even come back to EYH to be workshop presenters.

“It’s important for young women to know that careers in STEM are not only vital to expanding our knowledge but can also be so much fun,” said Chelsea Walker, principal mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman in Promontory, Utah, and this year’s chairperson. “I love EYH because it promotes enjoyable career paths for young women, and I appreciate the opportunity to have a role in this worthwhile effort.”

Northrop Grumman is committed to encouraging STEM education among the nation’s youth, and the company’s annual EYH sponsorship is just one of the many ways the company supports this initiative. “A last comment I would have, would be to encourage young women to take full advantage of opportunities to gain the maximum amount of education in math and science before graduating from high school,” Walker said. “That will really boost their college career, for starters.”

Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. The organizations provide funding to sustainable STEM programs that span from preschool to high school and through collegiate levels, with a major emphasis on middle school students and teachers. In 2017, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued outreach efforts by contributing over $20.4 million to STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association, Great Minds in Stem (Viva Technology) and EarthEcho’s International EarthEcho Expeditions.

For more information on the EYH program visit http://www.expandingyourhorizons.org/