JULY 15-20, 2018 ~ Ages 11-13 ~ Grades 6-8


2018 Registration



Girls Plus Math provides a stimulating and supportive environment, free of gender-based stereotypes.  It 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.  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. Hands-on components include building a tetrahedral kite, origami, and various games which foster critical thinking skills.

Participants receive morning instruction in the 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 the Casa Latina Cultural Center. This building 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 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification for the center, 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.

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.

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.  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.

During the week, participants are introduced to Polynomiography computer software. This software allows users to create art through mathematical equations. 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 the opportunity to follow along with their child’s progress throughout the week.


Participants stay in cabins at Western’s Horn Field 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 full residential registration fee is $525 and includes tuition, classroom supplies, extracurricular activities, and complete room and board. Those who register before March 15, 2018, will receive a 10% Early Bird Discount. Enrollment is limited to 24 students, admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Commuter students are not accepted. Female students must be ages 11 to 13 years old. 

Mail the registration form with a check or credit card information to Study Abroad & Outreach, Horrabin Hall 8, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, Illinois 61455-1390, or fax your registration with credit card information to (309) 298-2226.

A limited number of partial scholarships will be awarded.

To take part in the payment plan, please send a $100 deposit at the time of registration, up to 60 days before the start of the program. Fifty percent of the registration fee is due 60 days before the start of the program and full payment is due 30 days before the start of the program.

To inquire about the partial scholarships or payment plan, please contact the Office of Study Abroad and Outreach at (309) 298-1911.


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 Monday, July 2, 2018. No refunds will be made on or after Monday, July 8, 2018.

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