Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Neuroscientist and Cheerleader: Our Next Skype Session

PBS has a great series titled The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. A month or so ago the featured scientist was Mollie Woodworth, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard in neuroscience who also happens to be a cheerleader (for MIT, no less).

When I watched some of the videos and read her blog on the site, I knew she would be another great choice to Skype with my Algebra kids. Not only is she energetic and engaging and can talk about how she uses math in her career, but she also has the opportunity to perhaps break some stereotypes high school students sometimes have about both women and cheerleaders. You can read the background information we provided to my students on the class blog and here are the questions we'll be asking:
  1. How do you define “math?” How would you describe what “math” means to a scientist to non-scientists? - Me

  2. Was there a time in your life when you ever thought about quitting cheerleading and just focusing on your studies? Did you ever get really overwhelmed? - Becca

  3. Is it possible that, in the near future, we will find a way to successfully clone any type of cell, even going so far as stopping cellular aging? - Alex

  4. Do people think you’re not as bright as you are because you’re a cheerleader? - Jeremy

  5. As you began moving in the direction of science did you begin to notice ties between what you were studying and math? - Mackenzie

  6. What advice would you give us about succeeding in math? - Grant
Again, if all goes well, I'm hoping to ustream it as well, so you're welcome to tune in on our ustream channel. We'll be skyping from approximately 7:21 - 7:45 am Mountain Time Monday, October 25th.

Update 10-25-10: Here's the archive of our session. Mollie was fantastic.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, my name is Laura Scott and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I think the whole concept of your activity with Mollie is GREAT! It is so important to encourage math students that what they are learning really IS relevant, and it is worth sticking with and not giving up. I am in Pre Calculus this semester and the skype session was actually very inspirational to ME!!

    The questions your students had for Mollie were awesome, and her responses were dead on! I love this post! I will continue to follow your blog and I am looking forward to learning from the activities you do with your students.