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Lafayette will host Expanding Your Horizons, a conference encouraging girls in fifth through eight grades to focus on mathematics and science for career preparation, Saturday, Feb. 4, at Acopian Engineering Center. The snow date is Feb. 11.

The goals of the conference are to foster an awareness of diverse career opportunities among girls, to provide them with contacts with professional women, and to encourage their interest in science and math.

Sharon Jones, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will give the keynote speech, discussing the project undertaken by Lafayette’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders to construct clean water distribution systems, as well as irrigation, for two villages lacking access to safe drinking water in Yoro, Honduras. The group has finished a system for Lagunitas and is starting work on another in La Fortuna through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“The conference is being presented to encourage girls to continue taking math and science to prepare for a whole range of careers,” says Mary Roth, professor and head of civil and environmental engineering, who is helping to organize the event. “It’s not specific to engineering or science.”

Hands-on workshops will cover fields such as archeology, architecture, investment, veterinary medicine, industrial engineering, environmental engineering, and digital photography.

Conference sponsors are Lafayette, the National Canal Museum, Society of Women Engineers, Air Products, and Expanding Your Horizons Consortium.

Registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 27. For more information, contact Sonya Dollins-Colton, curator of education at the National Canal Museum, at (610) 559-6623 or

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