I got a fantastic opportunity to give my first talk at a GEMS camp offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on June 18th. GEMS stands for Girls Engaged in Math and Science and this summer camp is offered completely free on the campus of UIUC for many years now. The GEMS camp has provided thousands of girls over the past few years opportunities perform science and math projects using computer applications.
My talk started first with an exercise where I asked the girls to draw a picture of a student who is good at math. I then talked about the following:
-The history of math
-What opportunities exist for girls who are good at math?
-What does the latest research reveal about math attitudes?
-Who are some of the great female role models in math?
-What are various ways to become good at math outside school?
-Why should more girls participate in math competitions and what resources exist to help them prepare for that?
-What math courses should you consider when in Middle School and High School?
I also showed them this video from the movie Mean Girls which the girls enjoyed a lot.
Overall, it was a great experience and I got asked a lot of questions.