EYH 2019

EYH 2019 was held on March 30th, 2019 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Our Keynote speaker is Jo-Elle Mogerman, Ph.D., Vice President of Learning and Community. Please see our Keynote Speaker page for more information.


8:00-9:00: Registration
9:00-9:30: Opening Ceremony
9:50-10:50: Workshop 1
11:00-12:00: Workshop 2/ Lunch
12:00-1:00: Lunch/ Workshop 2
1:10-2:10: Workshop 3
2:30-3:00: Closing Ceremony
3:00-3:30: Parents Pick Up the Students


Track 1

Disease Detectives

Reba Abraham – University of Chicago

In this workshop, you will learn about how doctors use microscopes to detect disease! We will talk about how microscopes work and how to use a paper microscope (Foldscope). With these tools, you will get to see what organs, like bone marrow, intestines, and blood, look like when you zoom in. At the end of the workshop, you’ll get to take the Foldscope home and use your new skills to explore the world around you.

Make Your Own Radio

Pratiti Deb & Christina Wicker – University of Chicago

Ever wonder how or why your radio works? How does it mysteriously manage to play your favorite tunes with nothing more than a small piece of metal? Come find out in this fun, interactive workshop where you can build your own radio and use it to listen to real radio stations. Take your own radio home to show your friends and look for radio waves around your home!

Dancing With Math

Dani Tucker & Alexa Lee-Hassan – University of Illinois at Chicago

Math is so much more than memorizing formulas and performing calculations to find a “right” answer. Did you know math occurs naturally all around you? Math even lives in dance! From ballet, to football halftime shows, to Bollywood, dance is full of shapes and patterns that can be described using math. Join us for an exciting workshop where we explore shapes and movements and learn about scales and symmetries. You won’t want to miss our final hands-on dance activity where we mix it all together!

Track 2

What is the Microbiome and Why Do We Need It?

Ande Hesser & Cathryn Nagler – University of Chicago

You can’t see them, you can’t feel them, but there are millions of bacteria and other tiny organisms that live in and on your body all the time! But don’t be scared, most of them are actually working hard to help you stay healthy! The collection of these protective bacteria is called the microbiome: in this workshop we’ll show you how different foods you eat can hurt your microbiome and actually cause you to get sick. We’ll figure out the best menu to feed our tiny bacterial friends, and you’ll learn what you can do to help you and your microbiome stay healthy.

Webcomix Remix

Tina Shah – Art Institute of Chicago

Tell your story through the web! Remix HTML code and your choice of images to create a web comic that represents you. You’ll learn how to build a basic web page and tips on how to make it your own.

I Like To Move It, Move It!

Kristina Fialko & Chloe Nash – University of Chicago

You use movement every day- when you laugh, wave to your friends, and dance around! Your movement can change depending on where you are and who you’re around. Do you dance differently to different music? Do you throw a tennis ball the same way you throw a basketball? The way that you move can send different messages, and different people have different movements! Animals do the same thing. In this workshop, you will learn about what differences in motion can mean and try out the tools that scientists use to explore motion, like slow-motion video.

Track 3

Plantastic! The Wonderful World of Plants

Christina Carrero & Bethany Zumwalde – 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.

1..2..3 Learn to Code

Zohra Shaik & Shabana Shaik – Arman Academy

Do you love to code but think that programming is hard to learn? Does the prospect of coding intimidate you? Let us show you how easy it is to start coding! We will teach you how to write a complete computer program and create a simple calculator.

Modular Mayhem

Amanda Lo – Skender

Creating models is the way of the future! Think like an architect – you will learn about scale, materials, and circulation in a space. Design and create a model of your own apartment unit with real samples of paint, tile, and flooring; then ship it out to the site to combine with others in your group to construct a complete building.


Track 4

Viral Infection and How Your Body Fights Back

Anya Nikolai & Sarah Feid – Loyola Women in Science

Have you had the flu before? Are you interested in health sciences or becoming a doctor? Do you want to understand how your body fights viral infections like the flu or how vaccines work? If you said yes to any of these questions, 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!​

Machine Learning: Teaching a Computer to Learn

Mary Kate – Pariveda Solutions

Do you think a computer would say hi to you if you waved at it or say your name if it saw your face? Maybe not at first, but what if you could teach it to recognize these things? In this workshop, we’ll explore how you can teach a computer using tools from Amazon and Google.

Molecular Tinker Toys for Water Purification

Riki J. Drout & Lee Robison – Northwestern University

By 2025, half of the world’s population will live in water stressed areas. Removal of heavy metals, fertilizers, and dyes is often necessary for humans to safely drink from local water sources. In this workshop, you will learn how to make molecular tinker toys to remove contaminants and toxins from water. Join us to learn how to design these molecular materials for making drinking water safe.


Track 5

Neuroscience: Studying the Brain and How it Works

Hayley White & Kristen Warren – Northwestern University Brain Awareness Outreach

Ever wondered how our brain allows us to move, sense, and think? Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system and how they function in our daily lives. Join our workshop to learn how the brain controls movement using prism goggles, how our brain senses taste and smell with jellybeans, listen to real neurons talk to each other in a cockroach leg, and touch a real live brain!

Think Like an Engineer

Alexandra Rodriguez-Beuerman, Elva Car & Liz Miller – Society of Women Engineers

Chicago is known for its impressive structures, and while the structures in Chicago are often made of concrete, metal, and other heavy materials, we can make our own impressive structures out of simple everyday items. In this workshop, we will teach you how to make everyday items stronger and how the city stands so tall.


Geometric Gems and Fantastic Plastic: Draw Your Own Jewelry!

Aushra Abouzeid – Northwestern University

Geometry appears everywhere in art and architecture, in computer graphics and in the natural world. Learn how to easily create and make your own beautiful geometric drawings with just a compass, colored pencils, and shrinking plastic. Wear your creations as jewelry or display them as hand-made mathematical art!


Track 6

DNA: Discovering New Adventures

Erin McGinnis and Vicki Sanders – Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Have you ever wondered what humans and strawberries have in common? They both have unique sets of “DNA”, the blueprint that cells use to build everything they need. In this workshop, you will learn how to extract DNA from a strawberry! Not only will you get the opportunity to feel like a genetic laboratory scientist, but you will also be introduced to the profession of genetic counseling. Genetic counselors are specialized health care providers that help educate patients and physicians about genetic conditions, like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, etc, and how they might impact someone’s health.

Let’s Make Paper Circuits

Elsa Soto, Megan Dague & Ariel Maret – UIC Women in Engineering

Did you know that electricity flows through circuits and can be found everywhere, including devices like our cell phones and tablets? Learn how to make your own circuit and light up a fun greeting card or piece of art!

Chocolate and the Speed of Light

Jennifer Raaf – Fermilab

The particles that make up our universe are even smaller than atoms, and we cannot see most of them by eye or even with microscopes. One such type of particle 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 7

Fun with Flu

Rahul Subramanian & Qixin He – University of Chicago

Have you ever had the flu? Have you ever wondered why people get a flu shot every year?  In this workshop, you’ll learn how infectious diseases like influenza spread in human populations by “infecting” your classmates (don’t worry, you won’t actually get sick) and how your body’s immune system fights back! We’ll explore how getting a flu shot protects both you and the people around you from getting sick, and how preventing outbreaks of diseases like the flu requires a combination of biology, medicine, public policy, and a little bit of math!

Speak(er) Your Mind!

Emily Smith & Lipi Gupta – University of Chicago

Electromagnets are used in computers, headphones, and research to study small particles, like electrons. We will teach you how to use wire to build your own electromagnet and make your own working speaker to play your favorite songs!

Magnet Magic

Liz Moog & Anne Marie March – Argonne National Lab

When you hear of magnets, you think “opposites attract same repel”, but in this workshop, we’ll investigate some other magnetic effects, such as creating electrical currents and manipulating moving objects. Some of these demos will look like magic tricks, but there’s no magic — only physics! And, unlike a magic show, you will learn why and how it all works.

Track 8

Foam Gnomes: Intro to Polymer Reactions

Dr. Crystalann Jones – Damping Technologies

Be a polymer chemist for the day and help us to form Polyurethane Foam through the crosslinking reaction of two polymer chains. We will combine materials to form gases, generate heat, change colors and expand liquids in our quest to understand all the chemical and physical changes that occur during this chemical reaction. We will determine if these changes can be reversed and create a Foam Gnome character for each student to take home as a reminder of all you learned in your day as a polymer scientist.

Engineer a Glowing Toy


Learn about electrical engineering and how to make a glowing toy.  You will use conductive thread, LEDs, and other items to create a complete circuit that will make your stuffed toy light up when you press a button!

Interstellar Communication

Patricia Larsen & Lindsey Bleem – Argonne National Laboratory

Ever wanted to communicate with alien civilizations? In this workshop you will work as teams of aliens to create and send your own messages between worlds. You will also learn how scientists send and look for messages from other civilizations in real life!



EYH Parent Program 2019

Please see our Parent Program page for more information on the Parent Program.

This year, the Parent Program was held in English and Spanish!




(English) Expanding Your Horizons Speaker_Organization Info 2019 -pages-deleted



Amanda Henderson

Amanda Henderson is a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Biological Science department. She is a South-side Chicago native, product of a single-parent household, CPS attendee, first generation college graduate, and community enthusiast. She has a passion for science education and economic empowerment; with a background in preschool, elementary and college level teaching. She serves on the board of directors for two non-profits and a scholarship hacker.


High School/College Prep talks:

Veronica Abraham-Garcia

Veronica Abraham-Garcia is a College Recruiter for Wright College-One of the City Colleges of Chicago. She went to Dominican University as a first generation student for her undergraduate degree in International Business and Spanish Studies. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Management (MSM) with a focus in Organizational Behavior and Development. She is tasked with recruiting students and assisting them in transitioning from high school to Wright College. Wright is a community college, the most students can get is an Associate’s degree. Students have the option to enter the workforce with different workforce programs or transfer to universities with our transfer options. Wright College has a focus in Information Technology and Engineering. Students in these programs can either start working upon completing some of these programs or transfer directly to universities into some of their Colleges of Engineering at various universities across the country.  

Paola Chavez

Paola Chavez is a transition coach with L@S GANAS at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and UIC graduate and always hoped to return to her alma mater to motivate students such as herself; first-generation, Latinx with big dreams for the future. At her current role with L@S GANAS, she works with high school and community college students to serve as a personal guide to the college/scholarship application process, financial aid, major/career selection, etc. Once at the university, L@S GANAS students receive guidance on navigating the university, help finding on/off campus opportunities, reminders about important deadlines, personal coaching on topics such as time management and more.

Keynote Speaker

Jo-Elle Mogerman

Jo-Elle Mogerman is a native Chicagoan who grew up with a love of animals, Mogerman applied that love to her academic pursuits, obtaining a B.A. in biology from Macalester College, an M.A. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in biology with a focus on foraging ecology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition, she is currently adjunct at DePaul University’s School of New Learning, teaching a course that engages students as citizen scientists.

Currently, she oversees the vision and strategic direction for all learning and community programs at Shedd Aquarium.  She brings extensive executive experience in informal education and community relations and is well-versed on topics related to the conservation and zoological community through nearly 14 years at Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo.

Mogerman has served as an Illinois Nature Preserves commissioner, chaired the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Diversity Committee and been a member of the Society for Diversity and the former Chicago Wilderness Executive Council. She has garnered more than 10 awards for the organizations, programs and projects under her lead.


Science Activities

Propagation 101: Learn general plant care tips and learn how to propagate your plants!

Luis Cabrales is a third year student studying Biology with a minor in Sustainable Cities, is a mentor with the L@S GANAS program, and also works at the UIC Greenhouse. His passion for the environment developed into something bigger than himself after working in the conservation field, starting the summer of 2015. Currently, Luis is working on organizing youth in his neighborhood to rally around problems such as the environmental injustices that the Southeast Side faces.


Cancer Workshop

The workshop gives a 30-minute introduction to cancer focused on risk factors, carcinogens, and the latest medical technological developments. There is a hands-on activity to practice common suturing techniques for surgeries to pair with a video on removing benign cancer tumors. Participants will suture a banana to gain experience on medical stitching.

Natalia Ongtengco is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying neuroscience on the pre-medical track. She works as a tutor for biology and volunteers as a medical interpreter and teacher for STEM workshops.

Career Panel

Sarayu Ratnam

Sarayu Ratnam is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Sarayu graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health in 2004 with a PhD in Human Genetics. She completed her post doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in the department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. She stayed on as a basic research scientist for 6 years working on genes involved in early development, using cell lines and mouse model systems.

Sarayu moved to pediatric clinical research when she joined the division of Endocrinology in 2018. She works with many physicians on different research studies, including  studies on Type 1 Diabetes, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Turners Syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. Her role involves supporting physicians with various aspects of a clinical research study including recruitment, budgets, regulatory compliance and grant writing/submissions. She is also interested in ways to engage a more diverse community in various pediatric research studies currently available in the division of Endocrinology at Lurie Children’s.

Krystle Madden

Krystal Madden is a PhD student in Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and adjunct instructor of in life sciences at an Indiana community college. She holds a Master of Science degree in Comparative Pathobiology. As a part of her work, Krystal engaged in research on breast cancer in African American women and on cervical cancer. Following her work as laboratory-based research scientist, Krystal served as a high school science teacher.  She is also a former forensic serologist for the Indiana State Police Laboratory. Her love for science and for education prompted Krystal to embark on her latest endeavor to earn a PhD in Learning Sciences with a focus on science education. Her work pays special attention to the persistence of African American women in laboratory-based sciences. Krystal co-authored work that has been published in the fields of both laboratory-based sciences and in education. She has also presented research in both areas.

Leslie Martinez

Leslie Martinez is a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Biological Sciences.She is a first-generation college student with plans to pursue graduate school. And has recently joined  a lab for what her first hands-on research experience. When not studying, she is always looking for new coffee shops to try.

Parent Panel

Veronica Arreola

Veronica I. Arreola is the director for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science program. Funded through a US Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant, L@s GANAS works to increase the number of Latinx-identified science students who excel at and graduate from UIC. L@s GANAS offers a number of initiatives including transition coaching, peer mentoring and a research fellowship. In her previous role as director of the UIC Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, WISE was recognized with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Arreola is a respected member of the local and national feminist community. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and Bitch Media. She is a frequent speaker on all things feminist, especially education equity, reproductive justice, feminist parenting and social media. Media appearances include being highlighted in Ms. Magazine, an Emmy award winning feature on WGN-TV, and NBC Nightly News. Arreola is a regular guest on Vocalo’s “The Morning AMp.”

Arreola’s honors include being named Woman of the Year by the UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women and a Chicago Foundation for Women’s Impact Award. A die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, Arreola lives on the north side of Chicago with her husband, daughter, and their two rescue dogs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a masters in Public Administration, both with concentrations in Gender and Women’s Studies.

Extracurricular Activities Talks [10 minutes each + 5 minutes for questions]


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.

Adler Planetarium The Adler’s Teen Programs focus on providing technical and professional skills, mentorship, and a welcoming learning environment for Chicago high school students of all backgrounds, interests, and abilities. We offer internships, workshops, after-school programs, and more.

Boys & Girls Club of Chicago Brian Murphy will focus on experiments done with the Boys and Girls club of Chicago as part of the community center-based science outreach program. This section will highlight some experiments and teaching strategies that will help guardians in discussing science with their children.

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.


(Spanish) Expanding Your Horizons Speaker_Organization Info 2019



Natalia Piland

Natalia Piland es una biologa y escritora que ha crecido entre el Peru y Estados Unidos. Actualmente, esta completando su doctorado en la Universidad de Chicago.


Actividad de Ciencia

Peeling Off Banana DNA

Nora Vazquez-Laslop

¿Por qué los plátanos son amarillos y no azules? Porque las células de los plátanos tienen un guía que les dice cómo ser y qué hacer: el ácido desoxiribonucléico que conocemos como DNA. El DNA está en todas las células de los seres vivos y les da todas las instrucciones que necesitan para vivir. Un sólo plátano tiene millones y millones de células, cada una con su propio DNA. Pero, ¿ustedes creen que podemos ver el DNA con sólo nuestros ojos? ¡No! No podemos, porque las moléculas de DNA son muy, muy pequeñitas y, además, están adentro de las células. Pero en este taller vamos a aprender cómo podemos ver el DNA, “pelando” todo lo que está alrededor de él y haciéndolo visible sin la necesidad de un microscopio. Usando cosas que tenemos en nuestas cocinas, primero vamos a romper los millones de células de un plátano para entonces sacar las moléculas de DNA de adentro de las células y, finalmente, las vamos a atrapar todas juntas. Van a ver que el DNA se convierte en un hilo largo, largo que vamos a poder ver con nuestros propios ojos y vamos a poder decir, ¡esto es DNA!


Preparción para el colegio/ la universidad

Veronica Abraham-Garcia

Description to come


Paola Chavez

Paola Chavez es una guía de transición con L@S GANAS en la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago (UIC). Ella se graduó de las escuelas públicas de Chicago (CPS) y también de UIC, y siempre espero poder regresar a su alma mater para motivar a estudiantes como ella; primera generación, latinos con grandes sueños para el futuro. En su posición con L@S GANAS, trabaja con estudiantes de la secundaria y escuelas comunitarias, sirviendo como una guía personal para aplicar para universidades y becas, ayuda financiera, escoger un especialidad y carrera, y mucho más. Cuando los estudiantes llegan a la Universidad, sus estudiantes reciben asistencia en navegar la universidad, ayudar a buscar oportunidades profesionales y académicas, recordatorios para fechas importantes, y entrenamiento personal en temas como gestión de tiempo, logro de metas, y más.


Panel Profesional

Nora Vazquez-Laslop

Nora Vázquez-Laslop nació en la Ciudad de México. Obtuvo su título de Bióloga y su docotorado en Bioquímica en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Trabajó dos años como asociado postdoctoral en la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz y posteriormente se estableció en Chicago, empleada en la Universidad de Illinois donde ha trabajado por más de 25 años y es actualmente Profesora en Investigación. Nora está interesada en entender cómo los antibióticos hacen que las bacterias dejen de crecer y cómo las bacterias aprenden trucos para hacerse resistentes a los antibióticos. Nora espera que sus investigaciones ayuden a desarrollar nuevas medicinas que curen mejor las infecciones bacterianas.


Jazmin Schroeder

Jazmin Schroeder es originaria de la ciudad de Pachuca Hidalgo donde cursó estudios de Ingeniería en Sistemas Computacionales. Con su experiencia en Software primero como desarrolladora y ahora como Directora de Ingeniería, Jazmin es apasionada por crear equipos con alto desempeño. De acuerdo a su experiencia Jazmin creé que la diversidad en el area laboral es una ventaja para empresas, razón por la cual ella se interesa en motivar a más mujeres a entrar al area de desarrollo de Software.


Clarissa Najera

Clarissa Najera es una estudiante de la  Maestría en Salud Pública con enfoque en epidemiología de la UIC. Trabaja como asistente para el Departamento de Estudios Hispanos e Italianos así como asistente de investigación en el Centro de Excelencia en la Salud Maternal y de la Niñez. Es apasionada en promover la salud de la comunidad Latina y trabaja en erradicar las desigualdades relacionadas con la salud. Después de recibir su título como Maestra en Salud Pública, ella planea ingresar a la escuela de medicina para convertirse en doctora.



Charlas de Actividades Extracurriculares  [10 minutos cada uno + 4 minutes para preguntas]



ChickTech es una organización sin ánimo de lucro dedicada a hacer que más niñas y mujeres se incorporen al mundo de la tecnología a través de talleres prácticos. Nuestro programa para escuelas de secundaria es gratuito y  busca involucrar a aquellas niñas que nunca hayan participado en programas tecnológicos. Nuestros participantes se benefician de talleres prácticos, oportunidades de tutoría y conocimiento de carreras profesionales. A través de nuestros eventos, construimos una comunidad en la que capacitamos a los participantes para que se vean a sí mismos como líderes y brindamos oportunidades de networking en la creciente industria tecnológica.


Adler Planetarium

Los programas para jóvenes de el Planetario de Adler ofrecen habilidades técnicas y profesionales, mentoría y un ambiente de aprendizaje para los estudiantes del noveno a duodécimo grado de Chicago. No importando el interés, habilidad y origen del estudiante. Ofrecemos internados, talleres, programas después de la escuela o fin de semanas y más.