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Helping Young People Embrace and Enjoy Math

Published April 06, 2018

By Chetna Sabharwal

Helping Young People Embrace and Enjoy Math
Helping Young People Embrace and Enjoy Math

Chetna leading students in math-focused activities outdoors.

Helping Young People Embrace and Enjoy Math

Some of the students Chetna has worked with.

My desire to make mathematics fascinating for my students started way back in 2000, when I first experienced the lack of motivation as well as the fear and myths about math amongst the students, especially the girls. The primary observation I made was that most of my students were unaware of the many applications of mathematics around them. In order to counter those negative beliefs, with a few enthusiastic students, I designed lab activities, comics, and projects for all of the difficult concepts. And in 2007, I began to use online tools such as The Geometer’s Sketchpad to open the avenues to interdisciplinary activities for the students. By training my fellow teachers, as well as the students, the snowball effect of using tools like this continued for many years.

From there, I kept going, publishing books, blogging, writing research papers, articles, and designing an inclusive curriculum. Later, mentoring students became an integral part of my life.

Since then, within my workplace or beyond, my passion lies in creating an environment where each girl is empowered to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I want to give them every possible opportunity to explore the beauty of mathematics, whether it be through art, design, research, or music. This work gives me immense joy.

My latest interest is in peer-to-peer education. With the dwindling population of girls in STEM fields, we need to train our youth as peer educators. Peer-to-peer learning is a very successful endeavor in my experience, because it can easily multiply the effect. In 2015 I founded a company whose goal is to reach out to the semi-urban belt of India and improve their learning. For that purpose, we developed our Mathematics Diagnostic and Improvement Plan (MDIP), which is focused on reducing math phobia among students, and encouraging them towards self-directed learning.

As the global space is shrinking with internet connectivity, I hope that this beautiful journey of helping students continues.

Academy Member and Junior Academy Mentor Chetna Sabharwal has 20 years of experience in education, teacher training, mentoring, and counseling. She is a co-founder and mentor at BassEkRaah.com. In 2016, she was given the Women Achievers Award by the Indian Women’s Convention.

You can help young people work through difficulties and inspire them to develop STEM skills by becoming a mentor in one of the Academy's many mentorship programs. Click here to learn more.

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