Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, the All Girls STEM Society launched its first ever summer workshop series!
July 11th was week 1 of the two-week long Math Series. Led by Amanda, the 50 enthusiastic girls learned about exponents, prime numbers, factorization, and systems of equations. Throughout the workshop, the girls worked together by brainstorming ideas to solve classic math competition problems that were designed to be challenging. The chat would flood with creative solutions and silly comments from our bright participants. For instance, when discussing order of operations, which is commonly remembered as “PEMDAS,” one girl shared that she liked to remember “PEMDAS” as “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” Not only was her insight helpful, but also nostalgic, conjuring memories of elementary school for many volunteers.
Virtual learning did nothing to dim the excitement of these girls! Even though the event was not in-person, still engagement was as high as ever. The chat was filled with follow-up questions throughout the workshop, such as “What are exponents?” and “How do you know when to choose substitution or elimination when solving systems of equations?” Volunteers did their best to answer all these questions, though the question “Is zero a composite number? Or a prime number?" stumped many volunteers. Emma had to do some googling to explain that zero is neither!
At the end, we provided the girls with problem-sets to give them the opportunity to apply the skills that they just learned. In case the girls had any questions about the workshop material or needed help with the problem set, we offered virtual office hours throughout the week.
We hope that the girls had a good time and improved their problem-solving skills!