Engineering and the ripple effect of an Expanding Your Horizons event.

Contributed by Devon Matheny

I was introduced to STEM in Middle School when I attended Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) at the University of Memphis. At EYH, I learned about the many different types of Engineering fields, but I was particularly drawn to Biomedical Engineering. I always knew that I had a passion for math and science, and from a young age I knew I wanted to become a doctor. EYH exposed me to Biomedical Engineering and showed me that Biomedical Engineering utilized math and science and applied it to creating different technologies that help everyone in the medical field from the doctor to the patient. Also at EYH, I discovered that I could major in Biomedical Engineering while being on the Pre-Med track. After EYH, I knew that this was the path that I wanted to pursue.

expanding your horizons logoThe many types of activities and experiments taught at EYH allowed me to realize that STEM is fun and exciting, but should not be daunting. EYH encouraged girls at a young age to learn the different ways a woman can pursue a STEM major, from being a Chemical Engineer and designing makeup to being a Biomedical Engineer and designing technology for doctors to use.

Shortly after I attended EYH, I was invited to speak on a panel at Middle Tennessee State University to speak about my experience with EYH. Speaking about my experiences at EYH and how they had an affect on me to an audience solidified my decision in pursuing Biomedical Engineering. The panel allowed me to discover that I love to talk about the many different opportunities that women have in the STEM field.

Today, I am majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Mississippi State with a concentration in Pre-Med and an minor in Spanish. In my time as a Biomedical Engineering major, I have been a part of the Society of Women Engineers at my school. Recently, I volunteered for a Girl Scout Chemical Engineering and STEM Day where I led girls around to different experiments to make engineering and STEM fun. I wanted to give back to programs that expose young girls to Engineering and STEM because I know that the reason I am majoring in Biomedical Engineering today is because of the impact that EYH left on me.

I want to be an advocate for women in STEM, and I believe that exposing girls at a young age to the STEM field is vital to the growth of women in STEM. Encouraging and challenging girls in the STEM field allows them to realize just how important it is for girls to make an impact on the world, and I hope that I can continue to volunteer for more events to give girls an opportunity to discover their passion, just like I discovered mine.