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Math Matters Take Center Stage During Women’s History Month

Local leaders encourage young girls to focus less on limits and more on opportunities

Earlier this month, DreamBox drew hundreds of girls in the Greater Seattle area to the Laser Dome at the Pacific Science Center with the promise of … math. Yup, you read that right. Girls in grades 4 through 8 came out in droves with their parents, learning guardians, and teachers to attend our “Math Matters: Unlocking the Future for Girls” event, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

While it’s our goal at DreamBox to get EVERYONE excited about math, we’re particularly passionate about getting—and keeping—young girls interested in numbers. That’s because, historically speaking, girls’ confidence and interest in math tends to decline during the middle-school years. And while there are many factors at play, one of the key reasons girls shy away from STEM at this critical age is that they don’t see enough women in roles they aspire to.

So, on Wednesday, March 13th, we convened a panel of five incredibly accomplished women and invited young girls near and far (in person and online via live feed on Facebook) to look, listen, ask questions, and be inspired.

DreamBox CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson moderated the powerhouse panel which included glassybaby CFO Sherilyn Anderson, King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván, Alaska Airlines VP Diana Birkett Rakow, and co-owner of the Seattle Storm, Dawn Trudeau. In her opening remarks, Jessie set the tone for the event by assuring young girls in the audience that there was one thing every event partner and every panel member on the stage had in common, “We believe in you. We see your spark. We see your promise. We see you. And we’re working hard to unlock your learning potential.”

For the next 40 minutes, panelists discussed how an early love of math paved the way for success in their professional careers and beyond. They also talked about the challenges they faced as young girls, shared their strategies for persevering, and encouraged students to embrace mistakes as “the first steps to getting it right.”

If you missed the live broadcast, you can view a recording of the event on our Facebook page. It’s a great opportunity to expose girls in grades 4–8 to real-life role models who can speak to the value of a strong foundation in mathematics. It’s also the perfect way to cap off Women’s History Month. Enjoy!

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