I admit I was a bit of a math nerd in high school. Okay maybe a complete math nerd. Even then, I knew the biggest reason some struggled with math was because of the way it was taught. When one kid asked, “Why do we have to learn the binary system?” the teacher didn't reply. I had two reactions: 1. It’s incredible what can be done with numbers for no reason at all and 2. He deserved an answer.
Also, decades later, a third reaction: 3. Microsoft, Apple, Google.
When it comes to encouraging girls to develop and expand interest in STEM subjects, I believe we should teach the joy AND the practical. As an avid reader, then and now, I see novels as a way to accomplish that.
From tracing the Möbius strip in a Time-Life book on mathematics when I was a little girl to a lifetime of fascination with space, I found STEM subjects introduced me to the world in a way that opened my mind to endless possibilities.
I want those endless possibilities for every girl.
Lesser known fact: From 2010 to 2015, I worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence where I screened incoming mail and email for Michelle Obama.