Female Beach students attend math workshop

Students also learned how construct hexaflexagons, which are constructed by folding strips of paper, that can be flexed or folded in certain ways to reveal faces besides the two that were originally on the back and front. There is a topological method that can reveal all the hidden faces. Students were taught how to construct hexaflexagons with 3 and 6 faces. (Photo courtesy of NDSU)

Students at Beach High School participated in a free math workshop to encourage young women to pursue the study of mathematics last Saturday, Sept. 29.

Beach High School math teacher Amanda Stoltz took Elizabeth Weaver, Madison Steinley and Avery Holkup to the Sonia Kovalevsky Mathematics High School Day at North Dakota State University.

"I think sometimes female students aren’t encouraged in math and engineering. I personally haven’t had that experience, but the ladies (there) were telling me that they’ve had teachers in other schools tell them they can’t do math or science. That shocked me," Stoltz said. "I think that (the event) was really good for them to see. In the career panel, they talked about, as women, you more have to balance your work and family life."

The nationwide event included math discussions, hands-on activities and career panels.

The keynote speaker was Heather McMonagle, math teacher for the Department of Defense’s National Cryptological School. She worked with the NSA as a cryptologist and in program management with U.S. Cyber Command.


McMonagle showed students how to crack cyphers, which the students from Beach particularly enjoyed.

Steinley's favorite part was the career panels.

"I’m interested in going into computer science, and that deals a lot with mathematics," she said. "I figured (the workshop) would be a good opportunity to learn a bit more about math-related fields and math in general. ... I learned that it just takes a lot of determination and willpower to get going in your career, but you can get there," she said.

Students also learned how to play math games, including the game Set.

NDSU estimates that about 20-50 students attend the event each year.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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