So you want to lead a workshop at EYH – great!

You’ve come to the right place. Here, you will learn what being a workshop leader is all about! 

Each year, participants attend 3 out of approximately 30 workshops, in math, science, and engineering, lead by Cornell student volunteers. The workshops are one of the most memorable aspects of EYH and we welcome your contributions!

As a workshop leader, you will be responsible for planning a one-hour hands-on lesson centered around a scientific concept or theme in your discipline. In addition to planning the workshop, you will be responsible for selecting the supplies (all expenses paid by EYH), reserving a space for your workshop and helping to recruit any additional volunteers you will need to lead your workshop (most successful workshops have a total of 3-4 leaders/volunteers). Workshop leaders will be asked to attend 1-2 mandatory meetings and be in touch with the conference organizational committee workshop chairs throughout the spring leading up to the conference.

The past few years we have received many more applications than we can accept. We encourage you to read through the instructions carefully and get in touch with any questions. We are happy to discuss your workshop plan with you prior to the submission deadline at either of the two Workshop Development Office Hours (11/02/15 and 11/05/15, 4:30-6pm in BRB) or by email.

How do I design a workshop that will be chosen for EYH 2015?
  1. Create a list of things that make you super excited to be a scientist: experiments, experiences, equipment, questions, etc. – Think about your own research and about facilities and equipment we have here at Cornell that students might not be exposed to in their classroom. We are looking for unique experiences that expose girls to what it is like to be a working scientist or engineer.  Think about what you do all day as a scientist—how can you give the girls a taste of this experience without having to know a full undergrad course load?
  2. Narrow this list down to 2-3 ideas – Cut out any workshops that would require too much fore-knowledge or too much explanation on your end. Cut out anything that doesn’t involve girls doing hands-on activities. Know your audience!
  3. Get feedback/input! – We will be available for two Workshop Development Office Hours sessions (Time and Location TBA)! Come with a few ideas you’re throwing around and let us help you form them into a workshop! There will be teachers and EYH workshop leaders on hand to work with you one-on-one to build a workshop that will leave kids thinking, “Wow! Science!” afterwards.
  4. Once you’ve picked your workshop, choose 2-3 learning objectives (max!) – Instead of “Students will learn/understand…” use active words like “Students will identify/engage with/design/construct…” In one hour, give a girl an idea of what scientists do, not what scientists know.
  5. Design activities to help them meet these objectives (learning by doing!) – See below for two examples of what the workshop might look like. Think through what materials/resources/man power you’ll need to make this happen.
  6. Get feedback/input! – Did I mention our Workshop Development Office Hours (Time and Location TBA)?
  7. Submit your Workshop Application by 5pm on Friday, November 13th.

A good 1 hour workshop might look something like:
  1. Engage (5-15 min) – Pique their interest!
    Begin with an activity that engages students and access information they already know. During this activity, they will articulate questions they have about the world, or define issues/problems that they do not yet know how to solve.
  2. Explore (20-40 min) – Get them involved through self-discovery!
    Facilitate activities where students are discovering things about the world. Design self-guided activities for students to make hypotheses, test them, and draw conclusions.
  3. Explain (10-15 min) – Ask them to communicate their findings!
    Give students the language to understand what they just discovered. Individually, or in small groups, or in large groups, have students express in words what they have learned. Ask leading questions to be sure they met your learning objectives.
  4. Extend (5-10 min) – What are the implications this new knowledge has?
    Ask how their learning connects to other related concepts. Ask how it will affect how they think about an issue, or approach a new problem. What now?
  5. Evaluate (5 min) – Did they learn it?
    Use formative assessment techniques to check if each student learned what you wanted them to (and what you didn’t know they would!). Use this to inform your own practice and make small tweaks to your lesson before the next workshop!
This model is called the 5E’s workshop model and is based on the Scientific Method. See here for good examples of what this does and does not look like, compared to the traditional classroom model.

Or it might look something like:
  1. Do Now (5min)
    There should be something for students to start right away upon entering your workshop, often calling upon students to recall/share what they already know about a topic, or question what they’d like to learn (or something gross to touch!).
  2. Introduce (5-10 min)
    A super short part where you introduce the goals and activities for the day, give instructions for what to do, explain the expectations, explain what the buddies’/parents’ roles are, etc. You are not giving a lesson, but instead articulating what the learning goals are and explaining how they will be met.
  3. Activities (40-45 min)
    or activities! Here’s the meat of your workshop, and is where students get to be scientists by investigating. Ask them questions to see what they’ve observed, make a hypothesis about why, design a test to see if they were right, predict what will happen, modify their hypothesis, etc. Scientific method!
    How do you know if you’re achieving these goals? Consider the following questions:
    • What do the girls know beforehand? How will your workshop push their knowledge?
    • At any moment of the workshop: What are the girls doing? What are the buddies/parents doing? What are the workshop leaders doing?
    • How can you design this experience to be a discovery process for girls?
    • How can you engage every student with different learning styles?
    • How will the girls demonstrate they have met the learning objectives?
  4. Reflection/Debrief (5 min)
    As a group or individually, be sure to help girls articulate what skills/concepts/processes they’ve learned through this workshop. One good format is: WHAT? SO WHAT? NOW WHAT? Here are some great resources for how to design meaningful questions or facilitate group discussions.
Of course many great workshops don’t follow either format, but all good workshops will be student-centered, inquiry-based, fun and informative experiences for girls.

Which will a student remember your workshop as being?

If now that you see these examples, you think your idea is more SEE than DO:

You have two options:
  • Run a Demonstration! We’re looking for leaders to run a variety of 5-10 minute or 20-30 minute demonstrations throughout the day. For example, liquid nitrogen ice cream, quick and flashy chemistry, high-powered laser tricks, etc. make for better demos than workshops. Find the Demo Leader Application below.
  • Come to Workshop Development Office Hours! You definitely want to run a workshop, but would love to have experienced leaders help you mold your idea into a workshop format. Come to one of our two office hours times (time and location TBA) and sit down one-on-one with workshop chairs and past EYH workshop leaders before applications are due. See the Calendar for dates/times/locations.

Ready to fill out the application?

You can download the application as well as a few sample applications below. Workshops accepted in the past can be found here. Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, November 13th, 2015. Completed applications may be submitted to us by email (

EYH Workshops Cornell University,
Sep 28, 2013, 4:06 PM
EYH Workshops Cornell University,
Sep 28, 2013, 4:06 PM
EYH Workshops Cornell University,
Sep 28, 2013, 4:06 PM
EYH Workshops Cornell University,
Sep 28, 2013, 4:06 PM