History of EYH at Cornell

EYH at Cornell officially began in 1988. In 1987 a groups of graduate students invited about 30 girls and parents to Cornell to discuss the benefits and impacts of math and science. The grad students discussed their degree programs, thesis projects, course work, and how math and science had helped them. The girls asked questions about different majors, job opportunities and difficulties they might face. The girls said that they would like to do some experiments the next year and EYH was born. In 1988 we found the EYH Network and conducted a conference very similar to what is still run today.

From the beginning, Cornell's EYH Conference has been organized and run by (mostly) graduate student volunteers from departments all over Cornell. The number of workshops has increased from 15 to over 30, and changes like a bus service have been introduced, but the focus on hands-on science exploration has remained the same. We are also one of the only EYH conferences to offer breakfast and lunch to participants, and we have always done this.

EYH was initially offered to 6-8th graders. The program became so popular that for a period in the 1990s it was offered only bi-annually to different school districts. This became too complicated, so in 1998 the invitation to 6th graders was dropped so that we could focus on 7-8th graders. This decision was based on a study by the AAUW showing that the critical years where girls lose interest in math and science are the 7-10th grades, and comments from volunteers that the 6th graders had the most trouble with the activities. The removal of the 6th grade meant that EYH could again be offered to all school districts in New York at the same time. In 2003 the conference was opened to 9th graders, again based on studies showing that these years are a critical time for girls. In 2004 and 2005 we turned away almost as many applicants as were able to attend, and in 2006 we filled our available spots in three days. In 2008 we expanded the conference capacity by 50 girls and began recruitment of girls from minority and rural backgrounds. We also took five workshops to Lansing Residential and were therefore able to bring the EYH experience to 40 additional girls. We will continue to offer EYH to 7th-9th graders in all school districts on a first-come-first-serve basis. In 2014 we expanded the capacity again to accept 500 students.

Cornell EYH Timeline

Year ~# girls Comments Chairs
1987 30 not associated with M&SN
1988 50 6th-8th graders, 45-min workshops
1989 75
1990 100
1991 130 first bus service (for ~20 workshops)
1992 250 workshops increased to 60 min
1993 250 workshops increased to 70 min
1994 150-200 only Northern half of NY invited
1995 150-200 only Southern half of NY
1996 150-200 Northern NY
1997 N/A not run - no faculty advisor
1998 130 6th grade dropped, all NY invited
1999 120 Daisy Fan
2000 120 Cayce Butler, Alison Fleming, and Jennifer Rutherford
2001 120 Alison Fleming, Emily Baird, Cayce Butler
2002 220 Carrie Stearns
2003 220 9th grade invited for the first time, administration moved to CCMR Carrie Stearns, Jennifer Oaksmith
2004 220 Call Auditorium used for first time Jennifer Oaksmith, Kate Papay, Karen Masters
2005 180 lunchtime activity introduced Karen Masters, Kristin Price, Lisa Larrimore
2006 225 registration filled in 3 days Lisa Larrimore, Lindsay Batory, Amélie Saintonge
2007 240 Lindsay Batory, Robin Smith, Lena Fitting
2008 270 workshops also at Lansing Residential Robin Smith, Amy Richter, Lena Fitting
2009 250 Josie Gruver, Lauren Childs, Robin Smith
2010 270 Sharon Gerbode, Robin Smith, Sarah Short
2011 305 Maureen Lynch, Sarah Short, Kari Midthun
2012 TBD Maureen Lynch, Sarah Short, Kari Midthun