It’s almost THAT time of the year again! You know – when you gotta wake up nice and early in the morning? When your evenings are consumed by mountains of homework? And when weekends become THE most blessed thing you can imagine? You don’t seem too excited… Or maybe you are… BUT ANYWAY, the school year is starting and here are 5 foods that can help you boost your memory and concentration to help you with all that learning!
We’ve all been there: you’re sitting on the subway, there’s absolutely ZERO service on your phone (but you’re still checking it anyway) and you start to read ads to avoid making contact with just about everyone. And chances are you’re thinking “yeah, well what else could I be doing on public transit? It’s not like I could be doing something totally awesome like MATH, right?” WELL, YES YOU CAN! Here is some awesome and simple Math you can do on the TTC to occupy your mind!
So you’ve got a TOTALLY awesome vacation coming up! You’re gonna visit some cool sights, try some new food and relax on gorgeous coasts OR none of that at all, it’s YOUR vacation, make it what you want! That all sounds really nice right?! BUT WAIT! Obviously you didn’t forget that everything that goes into planning a super awesome trip involves math, did you? OF COURSE YOU NOT! So we’ll help you out with planning your much deserved vacay with the power of MATH!
What exactly is a mathematical algorithm? Well, simply put, an algorithm is the process of steps or calculations that must be done to find a solution to a problem or situation. That probably doesn’t sound too exciting. But guess what? Math is Everywhere and so are algorithms! Now here are 5 super awesome algorithms that you probably use every day!
TMG is always super eager to remind you that women have been kicking butt in engineering throughout history - this isn't a new thing! Sometimes we all need a little reminder of how powerful women have ALWAYS been, so this week’s blog post is going to give you a mini history lesson by showcasing famous female engineers and their accomplishments over the years.
1. Edith Clarke (1883-1959)
Edith Clarke totally helped paved the way for the future of female engineers. In 1918, Edith Clarke was the first woman to earn an electrical engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recognized as the first female professor in the United States, Clarke taught electrical engineering at the University of Texas for 10 years.
2. Emily Roebling (1803-1903)
Another pioneer in the field of engineering, Emily Roebling is one of the first women field engineers. Credited with being at the forefront of one the biggest feats of engineering for her time, Roebling is best known for her role as Chief Engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. Talk about impressive!
3. Stephanie Kwolek (born 1923)
Stephanie Kwolek’s invented Kevlar, a stiff synthetic material five times as strong as steel that is found in the production of bullet-proof vests, as well as a whole range of everyday products including safety helmets, camping gear, snow skis and cables. Thank you Stephanie for inventing such a strong and useful material, we couldn’t be more impressed with your invention!
4. Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000)
Hedy Lamarr is a total superstar who helped crushed stereotypes about women in engineering. When we say “superstar” we mean it literally – Lamarr was known as a star of the silver screen in the 1930s and 40s AND known as one of the women to help invent WiFi – yup, you heard it right – WiFi! How awesome is that?
5. Mary Anderson (1866–1953)
The next time you’re driving in the rain and are freaking out about not being able to see in front of you BUT you decide to turn on those windshield wipers to help solve your problem of poor visibility, you should think about Mary Anderson, the inventor of the windshield wiper. Talk about a super useful and widespread invention – thank you Mary Anderson!
Okay guys, this is a big one for us. Last year, one of OUR role models, Mayim Bialik, invited us to write a piece for her incredible and inspiring site, GrokNation. Today, she’s making a cameo on our blog as an ever-fab Guest Guru! Aside from being a kickass leading lady on The Big Bang Theory, she's one of the big players in the movement towards encouraging women to pursue #STEM. Mayim is an advocate that we totally look up to and wish we could hang out with on the daily - for real. We’re so pumped that she took the time to answer some of our burning questions! Q: Let's start with this: what is the absolute coolest thing about math and/or science?
A: Well, it's hard to pick one thing! I think the coolest thing about math is that it is a completely arbitrary set of names and labels we have given to a system that literally runs the universe. Instead of calling things one, six, and 500, we could also call them polkadot, badger, and violin. Math would still be math because it just IS and we find ways to explain what it is with words and symbols and labels.
Q: Why should high school kids stick with math and science instead of dropping them at the earliest opportunity?
A: The majority of jobs available to young people in the future will require some background in math and science. In addition, some of the higher paid jobs and jobs in the fastest growing most exciting markets require math and science. Plus, understanding math and science sets you up for understanding the world in a whole different way even if you don't choose to go into those for your career. It can help you plan for your life including finances, buying a house, and general decision-making. Also, it gives you an appreciation of the universe that can really change your perspective on life in great ways.
Q: I love love love that you're passionate about finding ways to encourage young women to enter STEM - that's what I'm all about! What are three things that you think we all could be doing that we're not?
A: More positive role models, more mentorship programs, and more funding from the government please!
Q: Girls often develop the belief that they're inherently bad at math much more frequently than boys do. Why do you think that is?
A: Girls and boys brains do tend to work differently, and this means that sometimes the female brain appreciates being taught in ways that have typically been designed to teach male brains. Sometimes, girls need to be able to picture themselves as a mathematician or a scientist in order to be able to understand why the skills are even important to put in effort to learn. Also, girls tend to be more social, more verbally sophisticated, and more interested in different kinds of activities than these classes sometimes lend themselves to. Creative teachers and more funding for math and science in schools would help this a lot.
Q: I really really believe that a huge part of why girls aren't inspired to pursue STEM is due to the fact that popular media doesn't exactly paint STEM as inspiring or welcoming for girls. What do you think?
A: I think we definitely see a lot of stereotypes of females in the media when we think about women in science. In addition, our culture in general reveres youth and beauty over praising and understanding the kind of people who pursue a life in math and science. So I don't know that I would blame the media, but I think the media is part of a larger problem we have in our culture with what we value and how.
Q: Do you think that your character in Big Bang is finally a step in the right direction for popular media and representations of women in STEM? Have any young women reached out to you about our character?
A: A lot of people think the characters on the Big Bang theory are stereotypes and possibly negative stereotypes of nerds and geeks. I personally know people like all of the characters! and while Bernadette is a microbiologist who wears more attractive clothing and cute headbands and Amy is more of a modest dresser, we are showing two different kinds of females in science and I love being a part of that. Also, all of the characters on the Big Bang theory who are scientists enjoy their lives, enjoy the way their life is structured and have friends and successful relationships. I think that is very important to show on television.
Q: Lack of confidence is a major issue when it comes to girls pursuing STEM. What advice do you have for parents of young girls who develop a fear of math in elementary school?
A: Reinforcing that boy and girl brains alike can and should learn math is very important. There are a lot of programs online that parents can be involved with alongside their children to encourage them to build positive skills especially in the math department.
Q: How do you feel about the word 'nerd'? Yes or no and why?
A: I fall under the category of nerd and geek so I say yes! I have been called a nerd a lot in my life by people who were being mean, but now the culture has shifted, I kind of like being called a nerd. I love all sorts of nerdy and geeky things and enjoy my life a lot because of those things.
Q: Is there hope? Seriously - do you think things have improved in terms of female participation in STEM fields, and do you see them continuing to improve?
A: I think there is definitely hope. You and the work you do give me hope!
Can you think of someone who you would love for us to feature as a Guest Guru? Holler at us: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Photo Cred: James Banasiak
Oscar season is just around the corner and thanks to Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures, TMG is buzzing with excitement about this year’s red carpet. Telling the story of three African-American women who are BOTH mathematicians and scientists at NASA, this movie is extremely empowering. TMG is OBSESSED with the fact that this movie showcases the incredible abilities of women in STEM – we LOVE girl power! As if watching women crush and crunch numbers like total BOSSES wasn’t reason enough to see this movie, we are providing you with 5 MORE reasons to go and watch Hidden Figures. 1. Math and Science are Relevant
Showing you that math and science have USEFUL applications outside of the classroom, Hidden Figures makes you realize that what you’re currently learning is relevant to not only a potential future career but also relevant to your understanding of what kind of theoretical work is applied to NASA’s space missions.
2. Math and Science are Cool
Hollywood is cool, right?! And sexy, sparkly, glamorous, Hollywood is talking about a movie that features math and science. Therefore, Hollywood is making math and science cool. SO, be cool and get in on the Hollywood buzz!
3. Learn About History
Want to sound knowledgeable about American history? Go and watch Hidden Figures! Because this movie is based on a true story, you will come out of this movie knowing SO much more about an important (yet underrepresented) part of American history.
4. Strong Acting
Featuring fierce and fiery performances by Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and Taraji P, this trio of women is one that will keep you riveted from beginning to end. With Oscar nominations to prove the star-quality of their performances, the acting in Hidden Figures will NOT disappoint.
5. Feel-Good Story
A lot of movies currently in theatres are super-heavy tear jerkers that have you leaving the theatre in a bit of a slump. If you want to be picked up, enlightened and empowered, this movie is the one to watch. Hidden Figures will make you laugh and cheer loudly for these amazing women, you will feel GOOD after leaving the theatre.
If you think about it, we have really given you 6 reasons to go and see Hidden Figures. So, get off of Netflix and get into a theatre to watch this empowering, inspiring and educational piece of highly talked about art that ACTUALLY features STEM!!!
Whether or not you had a valentine this past Valentine’s Day, HOPEFULLY you noticed that it’s MOST important to be your OWN VALENTINE and LOVE YOURSELF! Although we think it’s SUPER important to love and take care of yourself, this can be extremely difficult – especially while studying! Studying can sometimes overwhelm us, stress us out, and completely take over our lives. To avoid having school-life completely take over, it’s important to practice loving yourself by using different self-care tips. By practicing the following 5 self-care tips you will be able to avoid unnecessary school-related breakdowns, you will be able to keep calm and carry on - trust us.
- Take a bubble bath
If work is starting to make you go crazy, STOP whatever you’re doing and pour yourself a warm and luxurious bubble bath. Want a TMG trick? Using lavender soaps and Epsom salts in the tub will help to relax the muscles in your mind AND body. Try spending JUST 15 minutes in the bath soaking your body and quieting your mind - that's all it takes, and it makes a huge diff in terms of how you approach your work after giving yourself some soaking time to chill out!
- Write in a journal
Get out ALL thoughts clogging your mind and inhibiting you from doing your schoolwork by writing them down. By getting out all your feelings on paper, it will be easier to compartmentalize the thoughts as they continue to flow through your mind. And who knows, maybe now that you’ve written down all your thoughts they might not come back – at least until after you're done focusing on the work you have to do RIGHT now!
Exercising is one of the best ways to focus on something other than schoolwork. While running as fast as you can on the treadmill who even has TIME to think about school? Aren’t you just focused on putting one foot in-front of the other and BREATHING to stay ALIVE? Not only does exercising actually rejuvenate you physically, it actually causes your brain to release endorphins which amps up your mood! Science in action guys!
- Take the day off
Sometimes you’ve been working SO hard that you just need a day off to do next to nothing. On your day off do NOT even THINK about doing schoolwork. This day off is COMPLETELY for you! Take time to sleep in, stay in your PJ’s and curl up on your sofa with the latest Netflix releases (or like, read a book - FOR FUN). Sounds like the perfect day, right?!
- Plan something to look forward to
Sometimes all we can think about is school, school and MORE school. If you have nothing to look forward to besides school, it can be difficult to be optimistic about the future. To make you excited about something other than all of that homework that lies ahead, plan something to look forward to. Whether it’s a smaller outing like a movie with a friend or a bigger excursion like a vacation, planning events (whether big or small) in the future will allow you NOT to ONLY focus on school work; with events planned you will now have other things to think about and motivate you to get work done!
We never said it was easy to take care of yourself. However, we DO know that it’s EXTREMELY important. So, the next time you’re feeling out of control, like the world is going to end if you don’t ace your math test, try implementing one of these many self-care tips - you've got this, we know you do!