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International Women's Day from a mathematical angle

What are you planning with your class to highlight the day?

  • Published: 06/03/2019

International Women’s Day is on Friday 8 March. What are you planning with your class to highlight the day?

We’ve put together some resources and ideas that you might like to use with your students. First, here are some national maths (and STEM) initiatives aimed at girls.

  • Equals inspires and empowers girls to use maths to pursue exciting careers, both in STEM and in industries that might not shout STEM, such as film, music and fashion.
  • Girls Who Code aims to change the gender gap in technology by teaching girls computer science through after-school clubs. Look at their web page to find out how to set up a free club.
  • Stemettes work hard to inspire and support young women to enter STEM careers through events for girls in primary and secondary school, and beyond.
  • WISE (Women in Science, Engineering and Maths) campaigns for gender balance in science, technology and engineering. My Skills My Life is an interactive game to help girls find rewarding careers in STEM.

Rachel Beddoes is the Girls’ Participation Coordinator at the Advanced Maths Support Programme (AMSP). To find out what the AMSP is doing to increase girls’ participation in post-16 maths, we interviewed her in this podcast.

Rachel advocates working with girls from KS3 (or earlier) to develop positivity towards maths-based career paths. She also talked about the importance of relatable role models for young women.

The AMSP can put you in touch with speakers for your school. In the meantime, how about using some of these resources with your class?

  • Free, printable posters for display.
  • The London Mathematical Society Success Stories webpage celebrates the diversity of successful mathematicians, including plenty of women.
  • The University of Nottingham has put together a series of 2–3 minute videos, each featuring a female mathematician.
  • Plus Magazine features the work of female mathematicians, including detecting gravitational waves, modelling airline overbooking systems, and modelling pandemics.

Finally, here are two NCETM articles about famous women mathematicians from history and the maths they did: Ada Lovelace and Mary Boole. Both articles include practical maths ideas you could explore with KS2/KS3 pupils.

We would love to know which resources you find most useful. Tweet us @NCETM using the hashtag #IWD2019.

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