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Women in STEM Celebrated at 3rd Annual Northland Sonia Kovalevsky Day

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: November 06, 2019 06:29 PM

College students from UWS, CSS and UMD led math activities and discussions for high school students in the area. 

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The Superior and Duluth area students were invited to UWS for the third annual Northland Sonia Kovalevsky Day on Wednesday. 

Sonia Kovalevsky (also called Sofia,Sofya and Sophie) was a pioneer for women in math and women's rights. The Russian mathematician was the first woman to obtain a doctorate in math and the first woman to be appointed a full professorship in Northern Europe. She died at the age of 41 in 1891, after making contributions to mechanics, analysis and partial differential equations. 

Career information and mathematical exercises were provided for 9th to 12th grade girls in the Superior and Duluth area. The purpose of the day was to increase exposure to math and educate young girls on its importance in life and future careers. 

"You're seeing change happen with younger students as well, and younger females [will be] like 'hey, there's actually somebody who looks like me doing these things that I'm interested in' and that gets them motivated. That pushes them to join these majors and these careers," said Helena Parranto, a sophomore panelist from UMD.

Parranto and the other student panelists shared with the high school students their interest in math. Parranto mentioned that robotics is a fun and easy way to apply a love for math. 

Robotics, graphic design and engineering are just some of the many careers that can be applied with STEM knowledge. 

During the day, workshop presentations were provided by Josh Stangle from UWS, Nathaniel Bushek from CSS and Karlee Westrem from UMD. Stephanie Walls also spoke, Walls is a biotech specialist with the Pell Corporation.

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Alicia Tipcke

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