Women in Math
Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
-- Preparing for the Lesson.
-- Conducting the Lesson.
-- Additional Activities.
-- Managing Resources and Student Activities.
- Books for teacher and student reference about girls and mathematics (optional):
- SHE DOES MATH is available from the Mathematical Association of America (http://www.maa.org).
- Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) provides a broad selection of books for students and adults about improving girls' participation in the fields of mathematics and computer science. (Use the search terms "girls and mathematics" for an extensive list of titles.)
You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:
- Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
- Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or
- Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
- IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB
of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of
RAM, running Windows 95.
For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected
in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.
The following sites should be bookmarked:
Biographies of Women Mathematicians
These biographies of women in mathematics are part of an ongoing project by students in mathematics classes at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Women and Mathematics
Administered by the Mathematical Association of America, Women and Mathematics (WAM) is an advising and mentoring program, the purpose of which is to stimulate interest in mathematics among all students, regardless of their possible career choices.
Mathematics Major Requirements at Ohio State University
A listing of the mathematics department requirements at Ohio State University. Mathematics Major Requirements at the University of Alabama
A listing of the mathematics department requirements at the University of Alabama. The ADA Project at Yale University
A Web magazine for women in the field of computer science.
Mathematical Association of America: Career Profiles
Profiles of women and men who work in mathematics- and computer-science-related careers.
American Mathematical Society: Careers in Mathematics
This site has useful information for the college-bound high school student interested in mathematics.
This lesson requires approximately five class periods. The lesson may best be taught as an enrichment component of other lessons.
Distribute Some Pioneering Women, Women in Mathematics and Computer Science Today, Why Should I Study Math?, and Career Planning, in Organizers for Students. Students should use the Web sites provided to answer the questions. They will discover important contributions that women have made to the fields of mathematics and computer science. They will also explore the math and computer science programs at the universities of their choice.
Science: This lesson idea may be extended to investigating careers in science by visiting 4000 Years of Women in Science (http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/4000WS.html).
While this lesson can be used with one computer in a classroom, it will be most effective if individual students are allowed to investigate the mathematics and computer science career paths and college majors that are most interesting to them. The students should be encouraged to personalize the project as much as possible. Each student should have computer access for approximately four hours.
One Computer in the Classroom
If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, etc., from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer, in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working, have them switch places.
If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.
Several Computers in the Classroom
Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.
You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.
Using a Computer Lab
A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is also appropriate for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.
Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.