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EYH History

Expanding Your Horizons Network History

The Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Network began in 1974 as the Math/Science Network, an informal group of women scientists and educators in the San Francisco Bay Area who were concerned about low female participation in math courses. On a volunteer basis, members of the group began planning coordinated efforts to strengthen their individual programs and to offer mutual support.

Early in EYH’s history, its leaders developed the idea of ‘conferences,’ programs in which middle-school and high-school girls participate in hands-on activities in math, science and engineering. The primary activities at the conferences are workshops led by adult women in STEM careers. The girls have fun in the workshops while they also learn about STEM and STEM-related careers and interact with positive adult STEM role models.

The conferences expand the horizons of girls* from a wide range of backgrounds. All the girls learn about possible careers and, most important, learn that they could pursue such careers - careers that are enjoyable, pay well, and contribute to society and that are peopled by adults with active, fulfilling lives. The conferences serve as a gateway to additional STEM activities for the girls. Many alumnae say that their attendance at an EYH conference was instrumental in their eventual choice of a serious STEM career.

Currently, there are more than 80 conferences with up to 25,000 girls attending each year. There are conferences in 31 states in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia.

The EYH Network is a volunteer community of STEM professionals, educators, parents, community leaders, and government and corporate representatives from around the world. Financial support comes from donations, sponsorships and grants made by individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies. Individual conferences fundraise locally for their conferences and the National Network Office fundraises nationally to financially support local conferences, start new conferences and provide direct services to the network of conferences like a free registration system.

*“Girls” refers to gender-expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, non-binary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).