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InfoSci Participates in Expaning Your Horizons (EYH) 2014 Conference

Inspired by Cornell’s commitment to engage young women in math, science, and engineering, Information Science and Computer Science PhD students Brian McInnis, Elizabeth Murnane and Jon Park, and e-Government Fellow Cheryl Blake recently volunteered with the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) 2014 Conference held at Cornell on Saturday, April 21st, 2014. EYH invites 7-9th grade girls to Cornell's campus for a full day of talks, demos and hands-on workshops designed to spark interest in STEM, provide female scientist role models and foster awareness of opportunities in math and science-related careers.

Cheryl, Brian, Elizabeth and Jon organized a workshop entitled “DIY: Designing Social Networks” that presented key social and technical issues related to the design of online communities. Workshop attendees explored the science behind how online communities are created and maintained, what attracts new members, and what makes people motivated to work with each other. The workshop was a highly interactive experience during which 7th and 8th grade girls who attended "launched" an online community related to a personal interest or hobby, crafted interface components to engage new and existing members and wrote code to build a customized web page. 

Active participation on the part of the attendees coupled with their positive feedback verified the organizers' impression that their workshop successfully helped to further EYH’s mission, and the exploration provided great fun for attendees and organizers alike!