The Texas Graduate Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Mary Alice Reyes, was invited to present at the 49th Annual RGVCTM Mathematics Conference at the University of Texas-Pan American. Her presentation, “I am a Girl and I Love Math!” focused on the TGC’s Girls Engaged in Mathematics (GEM) Camp initiative and the importance of promoting girls in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). She discussed alarming statistics related to girls in STEM and encouraged teachers and administrators in attendance to take action. Dr. Reyes shared research on the positive long-term impact of programs such as GEM:
Young women had lasting and detailed memories of these programs.
Memories remained constant regardless of the length of time that had passed since they had participated.
Women reported feeling more empowered to take on technical challenges.
Regarding STEM, women noted significant moments in their STEM program experience that had a profound impact on their perceptions of STEM and/or women in STEM.
Joining Dr. Reyes in her presentation were TGC Associate Director Adriana Lopez as well as GEM Teacher Irene Vega and GEM Mentor Jocelyn Olmedo. GEM was successfully launched last summer in La Joya ISD and the TGC is hoping to rollout the camp at districts throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Our goal is to get more girls to say, “I’m a girl, and I love math!”
Presentations to Include Speakers from:
Texas Education Agency (TEA), South Texas College (STC), Educate Texas, Jobs for the Future (JFF), University of Texas-Pan American, Region One ESC, RGV Focus, IDRA, ARISE and Pharr-San Juan- Alamo ISD (PSJA).