Distance Learning

Girls Plus Math

July 19-24, 2015

Ages 11-13

Come and explore the world of mathematics - beyond the standard curriculum - in a cooperative learning environment.




Girls Plus Math provides a stimulating and supportive environment, free of gender-based stereotypes, and promotes interest in mathematics, a willingness to take risks in analysis, and the self-confidence and motivation to persist in problem solving. The Girls Plus Math program admits only 24 students each year; this allows our faculty to help each girl develop her own potential individually. Participants explore critical thinking skills, web page creation, and computer software along with mathematical concepts and equations throughout the week. Classes are held in the new environmentally friendly Multicultural Center on campus. The Multicultural Center is designated as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification building. In addition, the program offers a blog and each participant has a linked page which allows her to post photos, updates, and other information. This personal blog allows parents an opportunity to follow along with their child’s progress throughout the week. During the week they are introduced to Polynomiography computer software. This software allows users to create art through mathematical equations. Hands-on components include building a tetrahedral kite, origami, and various games which foster critical thinking skills are offered throughout the week. Participants learn about the accomplishments of famous women in science and math and about various math related fields through guest speakers. 


Enrollment is limited; Girls Plus Math accepts only 24 participants. Please register early; students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration fee is $499 and includes tuition, classroom supplies, extracurricular activities, and complete room and board. Commuter students are not accepted. Parents who wish to use a Payment Plan , may send a $100 deposit at the time of registration, up to 60 days before the program start date. Fifty percent of the registration fee is due at 60 days prior to the program and full payment is due 30 days before the start of the program. Please duplicate the registration form for additional registrations. .


Test results indicate a 13:1 ratio of boys to girls who score at least 700 out of 800 on the mathematics section of the SAT. Gender-related differences with regard to mathematics study begin to manifest themselves in middle-school children. Studies indicate that females perceive mathematics as less useful to them and to their futures than do males.


Participants receive morning instruction in the new 14,000 sq. ft. Multicultural Center. The Multicultural Center was officially opened in August of 2009 and houses the Women’s Center, Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, and Casa Latina Cultural Center. The center is centrally located on campus and is an environmentally-friendly building. Western received a $100,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to defray costs associated with acquiring LEED Silver Certification, and received grant funding to install a geothermal heating and cooling system. The building includes a vegetative roof consisting of seven species of sedum plant materials and energy-efficient fluorescent lighting.


Participants stay in cabins at Western’s Horn Lodge Campus. They enjoy extracurricular activities such as swimming, indoor and outdoor games, movies, crafts, and bowling. Students are supervised by faculty and carefully-selected resident counselors to ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the Western campus.


The Western Illinois University Department of Mathematics coordinates the instructional portion of the program. In addition to the academic and recreational activities, the girls use graphing calculators from Texas Instruments. They also use computer technology to build their own webpages. Western’s laboratories, computer facilities, and technological resources provide exciting hands-on experiences and unique exposure to the university environment. In addition, a number of professionals visit the program to describe how they use math in their work and how they became interested in pursuing their particular careers. Morning activities include estimation and critical thinking exercises, biographies on women who have excelled in math and science, and introductions to various math concepts including linear equations, polynomials, graphing, and Pascal’s Triangle. In addition, students explore Venn diagrams, quadratic equations, polyhedra, and Polynomiography.


Using the most up-to-date teaching methods, materials, and technology, the week-long program seeks not simply to teach “more math,” but to demonstrate the relationship of math to many different areas of life, to explore math beyond the limitations of the standard curriculum, and to enhance student self-esteem and problem-solving capabilities.



Female students must be 11-13 years of age. Gifted status or minimum qualifying scores on standardized tests are not requirements. Neither is this a remedial program. Participants should have sufficient curiosity, motivation, achievement level, and maturity to benefit from the program. Students must be recommended for the program by a teacher or school administrator by means of a signature on the registration form. We take these recommendations seriously and may call for further information. A recommendation to the program does not guarantee acceptance; recommended students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.



MEDICAL: Students do not qualify for university health care, so parents should check family insurance policies for health and accident coverage.

ADA COMPLIANCE: Western Illinois University is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Please let Outreach Programs know of any special needs students may have at least two weeks prior to the program start date. Our toll free number is 866/933-8964. The office phone number is 309/298-1911.

REFUND POLICY: Western Illinois University reserves the right to withdraw a program because of unforeseen circumstances or insufficient enrollment. If a program is withdrawn, participants are notified and fees are refunded. A $50 fee is charged participants who cancel after July 3, 2015. No refunds will be made on or after Wednesday, July 15, 2015 .

FURTHER INFORMATION: For further information call Outreach Programs toll free at 866/933-8964 or at 309/298-1911.



Western Illinois University complies with all federal and state nondiscrimination laws, orders, and regulations. Western Illinois University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity institution and affirms its commitment in all programs and activities to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, national origin, and status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam Era veteran.