Girls told math can multiply career paths exponentially
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Art, nursing, forensics, aeronautics, engineering — many careers are waiting for students who excel in math.
The sixth annual Lincoln University Sonia Kovalevsky Math for Girls Day on Friday exposed students in grades 8-12 to unique applications of math to pique their interest as a possible career.
“There’s so much more you can do with mathematics than just teach,” said Lincoln math professor Donna Stallings, who coordinates the only event of its kind in Missouri.
“Maybe they need to get a different view of the same picture; it might change everything for them,” Stallings said.
Schools select their teams of three, which they register with Lincoln, said college dean Ruthi Sturdevant.
The younger students compete in a test-like format. The older students are given more problem-solving challenges.
While the girls took their tests, their teachers attended a workshop hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation showcasing hands-on engineering activities.
After the competition, the young mathematicians attended a variety of workshops on topics including aeronautics, military science, orienteering, civil engineering, nursing, geometric art and crime scene investigation.
The nationwide event is named for Sonia Kovalevsky, the first woman to earn a doctorate in math. And Sturdevant was quick to note that Lincoln President Carolyn Mahoney also holds a doctorate in math.