Math Options Career Day canceled; will not be rescheduled
Given the evolving coronavirus situation, Penn State, including Penn State Behrend, has moved all classroom and lab instruction online for the remainder of the semester. This is being done to reduce large gatherings of individuals, such as faculty and staff meeting face-to-face. In line with this, all Behrend Youth Education Outreach programs and visits have been postponed or canceled for summer 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]
Math Options Career Day
Welcome to the Math Options program, a math, science, technology, engineering, and business career day for seventh- and eighth-grade girls. This program has been designed to provide information on careers in mathematics, engineering, technology, and the sciences to young women at a time when they are making important academic decisions. Girls from schools in Erie, Crawford, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties attend the Math Options program.
Looking Back: Math Options Career Day 2019
On May 7, 2019, Youth Education Outreach hosted the 23rd annual Math Options Career Day. Nearly 200 female students from 36 schools experienced interactive workshops while meeting women and men who work in STEM fields.
Our keynote speaker was Emily Miksa. Emily is a Penn State Behrend 2019 industrial engineering graduate. Emily is from Conneaut Lake, where she was active in band, choir, and the theatre throughout her elementary, middle and high school years. While at Penn State Behrend, she developed an interest in STEM fields and represented the college as a Behrend Engineering Ambassador. Emily had an internship in Michigan at Arconic and another at Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut. In June she began her next adventure in the Quality Engineering Development Program at Pratt and Whitney.
Studies have shown that students who do not take upper-level math courses in junior and senior high school are often limited in the choice of college majors and, subsequently, careers. This is true not only of careers that are directly related to mathematics and science, but also of careers that require math and science academic preparation, including the social and medical sciences. Moreover, since many young people change their career goals several times during the college years, we strongly advocate the study of mathematics and science throughout high school for all students so they will have as many college major and career options as possible.
Math Options began at Penn State’s Abington (Philadelphia) Campus in 1991 under the corporate sponsorship of Bell of Pennsylvania in consultation with the Philadelphia Chapter of Women and Mathematics. The program has expanded across the state to many other Penn State locations and now serves more than 1,500 girls annually.
The goal of Math Options is important, as it addresses a problem recognized by a growing number of educators and mentors: young girls need role models and encouragement if they are to pursue math-related careers. Even girls who do well in math often choose not to pursue studies and careers in math and science, partly because of the stereotypes about femininity and math in our society and lack of support.
The statistics are sobering: only 16 percent of scientists, 6 percent of engineers, and 4 percent of computer scientists in the United States are women. Nearly 70 percent of tomorrow’s jobs will require use of computers, yet fewer than 33 percent of participants in computer courses and related activities are women. Our nation stands on the brink of a serious knowledge and skill shortage—partially because we currently under-educate half of our future leaders.
Contact [email protected] for more information.