Expanding Your Horizons Conference
Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a national conference that encourages girls, grades 8-12, to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Expanding Your Horizons 2024 will be held at Edmonds College on Wednesday, March 27, 2024!
2024 Keynote Speaker: Gracie Ermi
Gracie Ermi is a computer scientist building artificial intelligence to support environmental research at Impact Observatory. She is following a career path that once seemed both unattainable and unfathomable.
Growing up, Ermi loved exploring the great outdoors, far from screens and gadgets. She wasn't into video games or even knew what coding was. She did enjoy math and science, thanks to inspiring high school teachers, but her current career was only on her radar once she attended college.
At Western Washington University, she discovered STEM, which opened Ermi’s eyes to a new world of computer science. It turned out coding wasn't just about games – it was a superpower for solving problems she cared about, like protecting the planet.
At first, Ermi was nervous. Everyone else seemed to know lines of code like their ABCs. But she soon discovered the magic of using those lines to build tools to study orca health with drones, track climate change with satellites, and even understand dolphin language.
The journey was challenging for Ermi as she felt she was starting behind everyone else and sometimes doubted herself. But guess what? Everyone feels that way when learning something new. Ermi kept plugging away, and now she's a rockstar computer scientist using her skills to help the Earth.
That's why Ermi loves talking to students. She emphasizes that anyone can learn to code and make a difference, even if you're a tech newbie. She understands that if you struggle at first – that's normal. She believes the important thing is to keep trying and see how your unique talents can combine with code to create something extraordinary.
Ermi is excited to share her incredible journey and inspire Expand Your Horizons attendees to believe that you, too, can be a tech hero for the planet.
Ermi is a renowned public speaker and has talked about her experience in STEM, computer science, and wildlife conservation at over 120 events.
Before joining Impact Observatory in her current role as a machine learning specialist, she was a research engineer for the Allen Institute for AI, served as an ambassador for the AAAS IF/THEN program, was a software engineer with Vulcan, Inc., and was a graduate teaching assistant and student researcher at Western Washington University.
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