Few women and minorities work in STEM areas, making urgent appropriate role models, cultural barrier education, and growth mindset development. This study focused on a diverse group of 24 fifth grade girls at an urban school learning about successful mathematical careers of contemporary women of different races. Students viewed illustrated slide shows of the women’s lives and accomplishments, discussing their jobs and barriers they overcame. Students gained spatial skills constructing dioramas of the women’s lives and careers. Thematic analysis of student responses to questionnaires and sentences from reflection essays revealed aspects of a mathematician’s life and work that allowed students to feel inspiration or connection: concern for others and equity; professional trailblazer; persistence; mathematics passion; social life; and outside interests.
Rule, Audrey C.; Blaine, Dana Atwood; Edwards, Clayton M.; and Gordon, Mindy
"Girls Explore Math Careers by Making 3D-Constructions of Diverse Women Mathematicians’ Lives,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 16
, Article 27.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol16/iss1/27