Good News – Girls really are good in math. A new study refutes the talking Barbie claim that “Math class is hard.” Y showing that there is no gap between girls and boys when it comes to math. In a study funded by the National Science Foundation, It found that while 20 years ago boys scored better on math tests, that is no longer the case – they now perform equally.
The NY Times article “Math Scores show no Gap for Girls” goes on quote the co-author of the study ,Marcia C. Linn of the University of California, Berkeley,. “But people are surprised by these findings, which suggests to me that the stereotypes are still there.”
Girls are still underrepresented in high school physics classes (which require a decent level of math knowledge), as well as the professions, such as engineering that require math. Another author of the study, Janet Hyde, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, said: “The stereotype that boys do better at math is still held widely by teachers and parents.… I still hear anecdotes about guidance counselors steering girls away from engineering, telling them they won’t be able to do the math.”
So what does this mean – don’t assume that just because she’s girl, she can’t do math. And if she doesn’t like math or isn’t doing well, take a look at her classes and her teachers. Is there something going on in the classroom (like a biased teacher) discouraging her from doing well at math. Perhaps this might be an area to get a few enrichment classes – with someone or somewhere that is committed to girls and math, or do start doing some fun math drills at home. Even if she never wants to go onto a calculus, a solid foundation of math will serve her well in any analytic classes, better prepare her for financial freedom (no mortgage broker will snow her. Also, strengthening a math weakness to at least competency will give her more self-confidence in school in general – as well as help maintain her overall GPA.
Check out the I Like Math shirt at GirlMogul.com
“Don’t turn down an opportunity because you are afraid. That’s not a good reason to turn down something. So many people, especially women, think they’re not qualified when it comes to new opportunities. You think there is someone who can do a job better, but usually there’s not. Those guys who are acting like they are better qualified? They aren’t any better qualified. They just think they are. Be willing to take a chance!” – Heidi Hammel – Astonomer
Here’s a great article/interview with Heidi Hammel an astronomer who studies Uranus, is helping to build a giant telescope and manages a team of other scientists. (And for all you working moms out there – she telecommutes and raises 3 children.)
Heidi says that first studied stars as a child when she was driving with her parents – car sickness forced her to look up and focus on the constellations. From there it was college at MIT, where in her own words,
“I struggled so hard. Nobody seemed to be working as hard as I did and they were getting much better grades. I was not a very happy person there. I learned how to work hard and how to cope with failure. I learned you couldn’t let things get you down. If you persevere, the rewards will come later on.”
A great life lesson, to encourage our daughters to struggle through the math and science classes, even if at first, things don’t come easily. Math and science are critical skills and are a great foundation for anything.
Dr. Hammel goes on to talk about taking risks – heading out to Hawaii for graduate school, being asked to lead a team, and then relying on that team. Read the whole article for more about being a women in a man’s field, the stars, science and balancing work and family and the best advice she can give young women today.
So I decided to take what I’ve learned from trying to smarter about my money, and all of the research I did, and put it together into a little booklet, but first I thought I would try our some sections with you to see if you had any ideas on how to make My Money Tips for Girls better:
Tip 1: Pay yourself first
I took 10% of my allowance (that $1) and put it aside. I hid it in my closet in a special shoebox. (I figure I can tell you since you won’t be coming to Riverton anytime soon.). I am supposed to do this every week and never ever, ever touch this money, so it can grow and grow and grow. Unfortunately, that didn’t work (see Tip 4). So now I know.
Split your money up this way
70% for everyday expenses
10% for my fortune
10% for the future
10% to share
It was harder to make do with even less than before, but slowly as I put more money into the different buckets, I realized it was ok to dip into the future for something I really wanted, especially since it made me really think long and hard about whether or not it was worth it.
So that’s Tip 1 – let me know what you think. And this week I am doing so much better with my allowance. I actually didn’t touch the dollar I put away in my do not touch box. And like Rose suggested, when I wanted a magazine, I stopped by the library, read the story and then put it back. I got what I wanted for FREE! Pretty neat.
Check out GirlMogul.com for more about us, the GirlMoguls.
So the end of the weekend came and went, and I tried and I really tried not to spend all my money. But I did and then some. If $5 hadn’t shown up from Nana, then I’d have been in trouble. I guess I shouldn’t have gone to the mall, right. I mean if you’re trying not to spend money, then you shouldn’t go to a place that’s all about getting you to spend more. Funny how I never noticed it before, but all I could seem to see this weekend were the posters and the flyers and the announcements that seemed to get you to spend $10 instead of the $7 you wanted to in the first place. Every little place always asked if you wanted to get two instead of one for just a little bit more, or if you wanted the grande size instead of the regular size. And before you even in know it, the $2.50 is gone, so is the $1 I took from it’s hiding place and promised to use only and only if I really, really needed it., plus the extra $5 nana sent me.
The $8.50 was gone before you knew it. On headbands (I only meant to buy one, but somehow I wound up with 3 for the price of 2) and a caramel decaf mocha latté. Grande. I knew I didn’t need it, any of it, since I have like 20 headbands already
So a full accounting:
||What I Spent it On
| $ 10.00
|| $ 1.00
|| $ 1.75
||pens and pencils
|| $ 3.25
||hot chocolate and a cookie
|| $ 1.00
| $ 5.00
||Gift From Nana
|| $ 8.00
||3 headbands and a latte
| $ 15.00
|| $ 15.00
| Total left over:
|| $ –
||That’s 0 a big, fat 0
Ouch – guess I didn’t do such a good job. I spend everything I had more. And I feel bad for even getting the dollar out if it’s super secret safe hiding place. Guess I need a better hiding place…
Abby and Dr. Smith say I shouldn’t give up. They said to try maybe just putting .50 cents in my super safe box and see if that makes it easier to forget about it at first. And Abby said that maybe I should go to the library more, since it’s free, instead of the mall, where I may be tempted.