Math program encourages girls in STEM


Marta Hill

Since eighth grade, I’ve been in the nationally recognized University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP). UMTYMP encourages girls to continue in STEM fields, and I have been inspired by my instructors to pursue math.

The math part of UMTYMP is challenging and has taught me skills like figuring out tough problems and asking for help. Aside from math, UMTYMP works to create an environment where everyone can excel. Sometimes, this means creating female-centered opportunities.

I tested three times for UMTYMP — end of sixth grade, winter of seventh grade and spring of seventh grade. Between my first and second attempts, I was able to be in a girls-only supplementary course. From my understanding, UMTYMP had noticed that girls weren’t retesting after failing the first time. While I would have retested anyway, that class motivated me more.

I have also been a part of the Girls’ Mentor Network for the past few years, and that has helped me get to know my peers and the professors at UMTYMP. We get together three times a year and eat pizza, play games and enjoy each others’ company.

UMTYMP impacted me by introducing me to some of the most inspiring and interesting women in my life. I know women can achieve as much as men. However, knowing that is different than seeing women who have their doctorates in math, despite discrimination.

Ben Sanford
UMTYMP students work together on team building games. Students from different districts come together to learn math.

Because of my experience in UMTYMP, I strive to inspire everyone, but especially girls who want to continue in STEM fields.

UMTYMP has improved my middle and high school experiences and has allowed me to meet other students with similar interests. But more important than establishing for me an intellectual community, UMTYMP has given me the tools I need to pass my motivation on to others.