STUDENT VOICES

More Girl Mathematicians and Engineers: A 6th Grade Student’s Math Wish

There was once a famous mathematician named Emmy Noether. She contributed to abstract algebra and theoretical physics and was described as the most important woman in physics. She is famous for Noether’s Theorem, Noetherian rings, and Noetherian induction.

In the early 20th century, women were largely excluded from academic positions. In 1915, Noether was invited to join the mathematics department at the University of Göttingen, a world-renowned center of mathematical research. Noether remained a leading member of Göttingen mathematics department until 1933, when Nazi Germany shut down women in teaching positions.

Noether was my inspiration to write about math. I learned a lot about Emmy Noether through internet research. I think that there should be more women who are mathematicians and engineers around the world. A lot of my friends dislike math because they think it’s hard and frustrating. The truth is, math can be frustrating, but it can also be a lot of fun.

This is my first year using Summit Learning, and math with Summit has made it so much easier to learn math at my own pace. It’s so different than math in a regular classroom. For example, if you still need help on something, you can work on a math concept until you understand it completely. In a more traditional class, even if you don’t understand, the teacher will move on with or without you.

6th grade student Cecilia E. Mendez gives a tour of her classroom, recreated digitally based on measurements taken in math class.

With Summit, you can work on math at your own pace and not everyone else’s. I think this approach to math would be so much more helpful for students that have anxiety about math. The teachers are still there to help you, but the Summit Learning structure gives you more of a sense that you are in charge of your own learning.

Math isn’t the only subject that became easier for me; learning all the other subjects also became easier. But I decided to write about math, because a lot of students my age hate math. It can be more fun to learn math, though, when you have different ways to help yourself. 

I feel like this way of learning will break the barriers that hold girls back from loving math like I do. I think that there should be more girl engineers and mathematicians. There are so many men in this part of the workplace, but girls are just as smart as men. Many girls don’t have the courage to go after that position. Maybe that will change if more students have a chance to really learn and love math!

Cecy would like to thank her friend Luna, Dr. Hester, and Mrs. Harrison for helping her complete this blog piece. Read more student voices on the Summit Learning Blog.

About the author

Cecilia Mendez
Cecilia Mendez
Cecilia E. Mendez, who goes by Cecy, is 12 years old and in the 6th grade at De Zavala Middle School in Pasadena, Texas. Her favorite hobbies are knitting, reading and learning different things. She is currently learning French and Japanese. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Cecy loves and is really good at math.