EYH 2018

EYH 2018 was held on March 24th, 2018 at the University of Chicago.

Our Keynote speakers were Dr. Enid Montague from DePaul University and Corlis D. Murray from the Abbott. Please see our Keynote Speaker page for more information.


8:00-9:00: Check-in
9:00-9:40: Keynote Speaker and Opening Ceremonies
10:00-11:00: Workshop 1
11:10-12:10: Workshop 2
12:25-1:00: Lunch
1:10-2:10: Workshop 3
2:30-3:00: Ending assembly/raffle


Track 1

Paleontology is Dino-mite
Jacquline Lungmus – University of Chicago

In this workshop we will learn about fossil organisms that lived throughout Earth’s history. We will discuss how paleontologists find fossils all over the world, and then take them back to our labs or museums to study. You will participate in an activity where you will practice putting the bones of fossil animals together, much like paleontologists have to with the fossils they find! In this dino-mite session we will explore how biology, geology, and anatomy all relate to the exciting field of paleontology.

Science is Delicious!
Linda Lan & Haley Dugan – University of Chicago; Megan Coffey – Candy Scientist

In this workshop, you will do fun edible science experiments like making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, making cheese from milk and lemon juice, and creating your own sour jelly candy that gels INSTANTLY. In addition, you will learn basic facts about phases of matter as well as acid reactions, how simple materials can be used to create new food, and will be able to eat some delicious work, too!  

Math and Dance
Aida Alibek & Sara Rezvi – University of Illinois at Chicago

Math is not just about memorizing formulas and doing calculations! Did you know that you can use math in dance? Join us for a fun workshop, where we will explore shapes and movements and learn about scales and symmetries. And then we will mix it all together in our exciting hands-on dancing activity!

Track 2

Coding With Robots!
Maria Power & Paige Brehm – Argonne National Laboratory

Teach a robot to complete a maze! Student teams of 3-4 will complete a series of fun challenges using a Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot. Coding is in a visual (block-based) language, so no previous robotics or coding experience is necessary.

Sticky and Stretchy: Material Properties in Everyday Life
Haneul Yoo & Cat Triandafillou – University of Chicago

Become a materials scientist for the day by using everyday items like flour and sugar to create interesting materials! We’ll measure density and elasticity, and then identify how these properties can impact both our daily lives and work in the lab.

Peeling of Banana DNA
Sezen Meydan & Tanja Florin – University of Illinois at Chicago

What makes roses beautiful, cockroaches creepy, bananas yellow, or you the way you are? A simple answer is “DNA”, the blueprint that cells use to build everything they need. Learn how to extract DNA from banana cells. Not only will you get the feeling of working in a research lab, but you will also learn how scientists use DNA to find new treatments for diseases, to catch criminals, and to find out who our great-great-grandparents were.

Track 3

Private Eye: Zoom In On Nature
Jody Simmons & Dana Simmons – University of Chicago

Join us as we zoom in on nature! In this workshop, you will look through a magnifying glass to observe patterns that are normally too small to see.  We will discuss and draw the structures you see under the magnifying glass, and find examples of similarly shaped patterns in macroscopic nature that are visible with the naked eye. You’ll have a chance to draw the microscopic patterns you see in shells, flower petals, fabrics, and other textures.

Engineering an Exoskeleton
Sonia Sanchez & Chara Nunnally – Project SYNCERE

An exoskeleton is a wearable device that can sense and measure how your body moves.  These devices are important for many medical conditions, especially those that could cause pain or weakness when moving. For your design challenge, you will be building an exoskeleton that can detect body movements with a sensor and notify the user with an indicator, all using electrical current and circuits.

Chocolate and the Speed of Light
Caterina Vernieri, J. Raaf, A.Canepa & C. Mills – FNAL

The particles that make up the universe are even smaller than atoms, and we cannot see most of them by eye or even with microscopes. One type of particle in the universe is called a photon, which is what we commonly call light. The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 meters per second (that’s 670,616,629 miles per hour!). In this workshop we will explore the nature of light and measure its speed with very simple tools: a microwave, a ruler, a bar of chocolate, and a calculator.

Track 4

Mapping the Future
Emily Zvolanek and Azucena Rodriguez – Argonne National Laboratory

Maps used to be tools to get us from one place to another; today they are so much more. In this workshop, you will learn how modern mapping is used to help people make decisions that will impact your community. You will learn about the different types of data used to make maps and how to find data to help plan a new community park.

Saving Species with Feces
Stacy Rosenbaum & Jill Mateo – Northwestern University

How do you learn about the health of animals you can’t touch, or sometimes even see? Join us and learn how scientists who study hormones and behavior monitor the health and stress of wild animals, from ground squirrels to gorillas. We’ll extract ‘hormones’ from poop (just fake poop) to learn more about how animals respond to changes like global warming and habitat disturbance.

Speak(er) Your Mind!
Lipi Gupta & Emily Smith – University of Chicago

Electromagnets are used in computers, headphones, and research to study small particles like electrons. Join us to build your own electromagnet from wire and magnets, and learn how it can be used to make your own working speaker! Take it home to show your friends and family how it works for playing your favorite songs!

Track 5

Microscopy For Everyone
Myriam McCoy & Glenn Shipley – Baxter Healthcare

In this workshop you will get the chance to see how easy, inexpensive, and exciting it is to look at interesting things all around you every day that are too small to see with the naked eye. You will be introduced to simple lenses and the compound microscope, and shown how to prepare your own microscope slides from materials and tools that cost pennies – literally! At the end, you will take home the slides you make yourself. Learn to SEE FOR YOURSELF the MICROSCOPIC world all around you! You can do it!  

Webcomic Remix
Tina Shah – Art Institute of Chicago

Remix HTML tags and images to tell a story through the web! In this workshop, you will learn basic HTML code and search for reusable images to create your own personalized web comic.

Viral Infection and How Your Body Fights Back
Abby Cannon & Anya Nikola- WINS

Have you ever had the flu? Are you interested in health sciences or becoming a doctor? Do you want to understand how your body fights viral infections or how vaccines work? If you said yes to any of this, sign up for “Viral Infection and How Your Body Fights Back” to conduct experiments to learn first hand how viruses spread between people and how your body and vaccines fight infection!​

Track 6

Hidden Signals
Kristina Fialko – University of Chicago

Take a look around yourself and note how many different colors you can see. Humans are unusual mammals because we are trichromats, meaning we have three types of cone cells that let us detect far more colors than something like a dog or a bear can. But there are other animals whose vision goes beyond our abilities, seeing in colors that are invisible to us. In this workshop, we’ll find out how our eyes use properties of light to see color and explore the hidden world of animal color vision.


Sharon Sintich, Raji Arora & Micaela Vargas – Young Women in Bio

Ever wonder how genetic messages are CODED from DNA?  Come join us in learning how to use amino acids to make your very own secret CODE. In this workshop you will solve the problem of creating your secret CODE message using computational thinking and abstraction while learning about the concepts of genetics and how proteins are made with some beads, string, and a computer.  

Stitches Get Switches
Yumin Wong & Erin Greenhalgh – Gamut

In this hands-on workshop, we combine the beauties of Art and Science by making our very own LED bracelets and LED flashlight-keychains. Join us as we embark on a journey of electric circuits, where we’ll learn how to sew with conductive thread and learn how to make various types of circuits with colorful LEDs and batteries. If we complete the circuit correctly, the LEDs will light up and you’ll have a super cool bracelet and keychain to show off to friends and family!

Track 7


Plantastic! The Wonderful World of Plants
Chai-Shian Kua, Lane Scher Silvia, Alvarez-Clare & Audrey Denvir – Morton Arboretum

If you look around, plants are everywhere! You are probably aware that plants give us oxygen, food, shelter, clothes, and more. It would not be possible to live without plants.  In this workshop, we will guide you through your exploration into the wonderful world of plants. We have designed several fun activities to introduce you to 3 important aspects of plant biology. You will learn : (1) How do plants drink water? (2) How do plants grow and how can we tell their age?, and (3) How do plants move around?  Come join us and become a budding plant scientist.

Made You Look!
Min Lee & Reba Abraham – University of Chicago

In a world with so much to see, our visual system is constantly busy trying to figure out the shapes, colors, and motion around us. Believe it or not, everything we see starts with just little particles of light that enter our eye. The information contained in these particles are sensed by the eyes and sent to the brain, where the wonders of neurons help us determine whether we are looking at a dog or a tree or a person. Come learn how our eyes and brains work together to help us see colors, 3D movies, and optical illusions!

Escape Room: Code Your Way Out!
Valerie Hall, Sarah Ritter & Jaclyne Hertzfeld – Pariveda Solutions

Using basic coding concepts, work with your team to solve a variety of problems to get out of the virtual escape room. In this workshop, you will learn basic logic structures for code, what an API is, and how to change the look of a website. With these new tools, and a few clues, you will work through a series of puzzles to escape the Room of Code!

Track 8

Lucy and the 3D printer
Kelsi Hurdle & April Neander – University of Chicago

Do you have a thing for fossils and have always wondered what our ancestors were like? Do you love technology and have a strong eye for detail? Then this is the workshop for you! In this workshop, you will learn how 3D printing works by designing and printing your own creation. You will also learn why this technology is essential for scientists by examining 3D printed versions of fossil hominins and discovering how our anatomy relates to that of our ancestors.

Becoming a Natural with Natural Products
Jessica Cleary & Katherine Zink – University of Illinois at Chicago

The world around us is filled with plants and animals that are all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many of these organisms release molecules in order to protect themselves from predators or survive in extreme environments. The chemical compounds the organisms release are examples of what we call natural products, which can be used as medicines to help you feel better when you are sick. In our workshop, you will explore the compounds released by living things by going on a natural products hunt!

Housing Hijinks
Amanda Lo, Victoria Johnson & Krista Neerdaels – Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to design and build your own apartment. Think like a designer – you will learn all about scale, materials, and circulation through a space. Lay out the rooms and furniture, select colors and finishes, and decide on how the outside should look. At the end, combine your unit with the others in your group to create a complete apartment building!

EYH Parent Program 2018


9:00 am –   Opening remarks, MC introduction, Ice breaker
                    MC: Ja’Vida Ford
9:20 am –   Talks about high school/college prep:
                    Julia Dunn – high school STEM teacher
                    Diana Rodriguez – UIUC ACES pre-college programs
10:00 am – Keynote Speaker
                    Corlis Murray
10:25 am – Coffee, snack, & bathroom break
10:35 am – Science Activity #1
                    Parent group 1 :DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
                    Parent group 2: Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
11:25 am – Career Panel : Exploring the experiences of Women with STEM careers
                    Jess Freaner – Data Science & Design Lead at IDEO
                    Priscila Pereira – Doctoral student in Math at UIC
                    Hannah Lundberg – Assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University
12:10 pm – Coffee, snack, & bathroom break
12:15 pm – Extracurricular Activities Panel/talks
                    Girls Who Code
                    Urban Alliance
                    Cards Against Humanity: Science Ambassador Scholarship
                    Project Syncere
1:25 pm –   Lunch (provided) – Speakers, panelists, and workshop leaders invited to attend
2:05 pm –  Science Activity #2
                   Parent group 2 :DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
                   Parent group 1: Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
2:50 pm –  Closing Remarks


Ja’Vida Ford

Ja’Vida Ford was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools before pursuing a degree in English at Denison University in Ohio. She has a background in college admissions and is currently the manager of enrollment at Chicago Tech Academy High School.

High School/College Prep talks:

Julia Dunn
Diana Rodriguez

Keynote Speaker

Corlis Murray

Corlis D. Murray is a 28-year veteran of Abbott, a $20 billion global health care company, where she is responsible for the company’s engineering, regulatory, and quality assurance functions in more than 150 countries. She began her career at Abbott in 1989 and has held a number of senior roles, incl. senior manufacturing engineer, production manager, and engineering manager.

In 2012, Murray launched Abbott’s high school STEM internship program targeting underrepresented students. To date, nearly 90 young people have participated and 97 percent are pursuing a STEM degree or have a STEM job.

Corlis has been named to Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list twice and been named Black Engineer magazine’s Scientist of the Year. She was recognized by the Society of Women Engineers with its Advocating Women in Engineering award and by the Lions Academy for mentoring. She sits on the Clara Abbott Board of Directors and on multiple Abbott executive committees. Corlis holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering degree from Southern University.

Science Activities

DNA: Discovering New Adventures in Genetics
Erin McGinnis, Vicki Sanders

The goal of the activity is to introduce parents to a career in genetic counseling. The workshop will introduce basic genetic concepts and encourage participants to work through a real life scenario involving a patient who desires genetic testing.
Green stormwater management: how it protects area lakes and rivers
Catherine O’Connor

Our urban environment has paved much of our city, causing significant “runoff” rather than absorption of rain water. This runoff can pollute area streams and rivers. This workshop will provide a physical demonstration for how green infrastructure can improve water quality in area waterways while also providing air quality benefits and reduce the incidents of local flooding.

Career Panel

Jess Freaner
Jess is a Design Lead in the Data Science discipline at IDEO. Before joining IDEO, Jess was a data scientist consultant with IBM Advanced Analytics and Watson Experience where she was part of the ideation and execution of advanced analytics engagements for global Fortune 500 clients across industries. After receiving her BA in Psychology from New York University, she taught herself to code COBOL and worked more than four years in trade finance supporting an international client base. Outside of work, Jess loves to tinker and create, whether that means whipping up something new in the kitchen, DIY-ing a costume or getting down and dirty with her latest home improvement project.
Priscila Pereira
Born and raised in Brazil, Priscila is an advanced full-time PhD student in the Math and Science Education program dedicated to Mathematics Education. Her research focuses on the educational experiences of Black and Afro-Brazilian women in higher education in Brazil and the U.S. In particular, she is interested in the ways in which racial, gender and mathematical identities are co-constructed and influenced by academic experiences within and across different African Diasporic social and political contexts. Besides her student responsibilities, Priscila serves as the coordinator for the UIC Mentoring con GANAS program – a mentoring program for Latinx undergraduates in STEM offered by L@s GANAS. Priscila believes in living a holistic life-style, is a yoga practitioner and a health food enthusiast.
Hannah Lundberg
Hannah J. Lundberg, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University. She is interested in the biomechanical function of human joints (natural and implanted). Her laboratory combines novel computational and experimental modalities to better represent joint function in vivo and improve surgical outcomes. Current emphases are using computer modeling to predict the following: Total knee replacement forces and behavior during everyday life, Wear of total knee replacements, Biomechanical behavior of total hip replacement modular taper junctions

Extracurricular Activities Talks 

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science. The organization is working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. They have a 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series. The aim is to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

Urban Alliance is a youth development organization that provides young people with the professional skills training and work experience needed to succeed in tomorrow’s labor market. By providing Urban Alliance youth with early, meaningful work, our Chicago business partners are helping to strengthen the school-to-work pipeline and prepare the next generation of leaders.
Since its inception in 2012, Urban Alliance has partnered with Chicago businesses to connect more than 500 high school students to paid, professional internships. Currently, the Chicago program works with over 80 professional job partners to serve students from 26 high schools throughout the city.

Cards Against Humanity is the self proclaimed “party game for horrible people”.  In addition to their best-selling, original deck of cards, they sell a Science Pack expansion deck that funds scholarships for outstanding women in science, technology, engineering, and math. To date they have funded two full-ride scholarships and created a community of mentors and students who work in STEM fields.

Project Syncere provides a curriculum that integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the use of project-based learning.  Project SYNCERE’s staff assists and coaches students in scientific inquiry, directing them to deeper levels of understanding. These actions have helped students by raising their test scores, improving their critical thinking and problem solving skills and increasing their overall enthusiasm for school. Students use prior knowledge and technology to solve real world problems. Project SYNCERE is designed to serve students in grades 1-12.