March 28, 2023

Math Girls Day Gets a Permanent Sponsor

Math Girls Day

After having to be downsized due to lack of funding, a popular semi-annual program at St. Mary’s College of Maryland has gotten a permanent sponsor. Math Girls Day, hosted by the Women in Science House Living Learning Community, or WiSH, is now being sponsored by Mathnasium.

Math Girls Day is open to middle school students in Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties and often reaches its maximum capacity of 70 students very quickly after registration opens. This year, however, the class had to be downsized due to lack of funding, so The Patuxent Partnership picked up the event.

The Patuxent Partnership understands the importance of focusing on girls in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Just 24 percent of STEM careers are held by women, but the women who work in the STEM fields earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM fields, according to the US Department of Commerce, Economics, and Statistics Administration.

TPP sponsored the spring session last year, but was looking for a permanent sponsor when they found Mathnasium.

“We are pleased to announce that Mathnasium has generously taken on sponsorship of this great program,” said TPP Executive Director Bonnie Green. “The importance of math skills cannot be stressed enough, and we are pleased and fortunate to have found a permanent sponsor in Mathnasium.”

Girls who attend the event do many hands-on STEM activities such as creating origami artwork, which focuses on building spatial reasoning, patience, and attention. Small groups of girls become engineers, creating a marshmallow tower using marshmallows, pasta noodles, string, and tape. The project challenges the girls to be creative and cooperative to build a tower strong enough to support a marshmallow at the top.

Neuroscientist and WiSH adviser Dr. Elizabeth Leininger offered the girls a tour of her research facilities and spoke about her work. Dr. Leininger focuses on bioacoustics, which is the study of sounds produced by living things. The girls were able to see her lab, including the animals she and other scientists work with on a daily basis.

“It’s so important that young girls learn that it’s OK to be interested in math,” Dr. Leininger said. “What we’re trying to do is prevent and avoid the stereotype that girls do not belong in a STEM field. We do this by engaging the students in activities that are fun, that apply math to real-life scenarios, and that introduce them to role models in math and science.”

“The Math Girls Day program is a perfect fit for Mathnasium community outreach and we are thrilled to be the program sponsor,” said Kama Friedman, owner of the California, Maryland, and Dunkirk Mathnasium. “Engaging students in math and math-related activities outside the classroom is a great way to demonstrate that math can be fun. Many students shy away from math because they think it’s too hard or a skill you have to be ‘born with.’ Math Girls Day allows students to realize that simply isn’t true.”

A math-only learning center, Mathnasium teaches kids math in a way that makes sense to them. Their experienced math tutors use teaching materials and techniques to deliver a customized learning plan designed to address each student’s needs, whether the student starts out far behind or is already ahead in math. Mathnasium’s approach goes beyond traditional math tutoring to develop understanding and build a love for math.

For more about Mathnasium in Dunkirk and California, Maryland, visit their Leader member page.

To learn more about The Patuxent Partnership and its programs visit its Leader member page.  

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