It took some time, but finally I've prepared it.
This is the current edition of the description of the "Math Support Gals" soon-coming group, for final discussion.
After the text I state some issues I've found, and now pending. These too for discussion, and I can't pretend my list is complete (hope it makes sense, by the way; one of the issues is of special "practical" importance: the site where to host class material - if necessary I may open it on my registrar).
Here follow the revised text, with a big hug and thank you to Jackie, Janice, Maria and Sunita, who supported this initiative with ideas and warm sustain. And, to anyone who might want to add to the "Math Support Gals".
We, the "Math Support Gals" group, are people passionate about children and young. We strongly believe, and maintain, the right to grow, blossom and thrive as full fledged, first-class citizens is as a fundamental right as food and shelter for young people all over the World.
We know from direct and personal experience that one of the obstacle of forming as first-class people in a world like this one is having no way to develop a mathematical, physical and more generally scientific knowledge.
As parents, teachers, decision-makers and, of course, gals we are very concerned about this, and we strive to do our best, all together, each one carrying a specific bit of experience and sensitivity.
There is another thing, of no less importance. Mathematics, physics and science are not only essential tools to survive and thrive in a complex world, but also beautiful. Unfortunately, some people (many girls especially - but some boys too) don't imagine this, and one of our most important tasks is eliciting, as far as we can, some sense of this beauty, so that all may decide what to do in greater fairness.
We are quite concrete people however, with some immediate and urgent dreams and aims:
- Preparing (and receiving, too) class material which anyone may download, use and distribute free of charge
- Promote the diffusion of mathematics, physics and sciences, through presenting them in ways girls may find especially useful, compelling, respectful and, yes, fascinating
- Do, encourage and support class and teacher teaching on mathematical, physical and scientific issues likely to change the mind about these subjects
- Denounce and fight against any direct or indirect attempt of excluding girls from schools, or from scientific and technological learning
- Connect with women, men and institution interested in our same goals, to imagine and deploy new ways
- Identify books, artwork, movies which help presenting physics and sciences and mathematics in the light they deserve
- Find free tools helpful in class activities, and provide (as much as we can) some help on its retrieval, installation and use
- Pursue a vision of science which is passionate and loving, in touch with us as human beings, and not as arid as it often seems
- Last, but not least, to go on learning ourselves, of course, as Nature is so large and fascinating, and a lifetime so short to know it all.
As you see, we are a lot ambitious - and only your lovely help may allow us to turn these dreams into crumbs of reality. But, we are committed with all our souls, and know you too may help.
Our main focus is on girls (just because this is a bit easier for us - to be effective, we have to "return to childhood" ourselves, a little bit) but we don't forget boys, too. The "sense of beautiful" in physics, mathematics and science hits any sensitive soul, and no one should be in principle excluded.
We strive to connect, too. And lobby all over the World to help making it better, the little (and infinitely important) any of us can.
And, we’ll be glad to embrace you, that you desire to help us directly, or have not this possibility.
As an open community based on sharing experiences and will, we urge ourselves, and anyone who wants to join, to carry a little crumb of wiseness (an experience, an issue, a desire, an "I'd like being teached this way", a difficulty, whatever everyone might find useful). And once joined, to participate in free and open spirit, contributing bits of materials, actions, feedbacks.
This group is not modeled after a traditional command-and-control organization. We strongly believe powerful results can emerge from person-to-person interactions, once a set of basic concerns, feelings and aspiration is shared. Like ants, each of us does little things, in the time and way we can afford.
Given its nature, we expect this group to be of direct immediate and practical interest to:
- Girl students (and interested boys too - we welcome anyone)
These figures may be the "final users" and "main contributors" to the group,
We welcome the contribution of scientists (especially women scientists, but once again, we are open to anyone) willing to share some pearl of experience and vision, and to volunteer copyright-free class material pertaining their experience.
We would also like the initiative be known to
- Children and women rights activists
- And of course, anyone interested.
- Web site (we may initially use the pulsewire server, but in case of technical difficulty, or would the mass of things grow, I may open a site, just as a repository of class material, and then link back to Pulsewire where the major part of activities will be concentrated).
- Type of application request. Could we admit anyone without approval, but urging them to give something? (They might refuse, of course, and that would be OK - as I see many Pulsewire members don't like or can't add their own presentation, yet they may be interested).
- "Powerful testimonials". Do we need them? In my opinion support (and maybe contribution) by some "big name" who carried innovative ideas in science (names of the "great women in science" are many) could help a lot. The problem with famous people is, they are not easily accessible (I understand that, and respect their need of privacy). Many "great women in science" are not "famous" however.
- The "difference" - to date there exist various initiatives and groups aimed at promoting science among girls. Typically they are sponsored and run by important women scientists who provide mentoring, presentations, and other things. As I see, our initiative differs in being a possible grassroots movement, and I foresee no serious overlap and "competition" (this "might" happen, but really is not something useful - we're in a position to cooperate).