Of Knitting and Math: Making of Women in STEM

I am a knitter who loves math, but only recently did I realize the combination of crafting and calculating is sending young ladies into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. If I had tapped into this potential three and a half decades ago, this blog could have been titled V and E, the scientific representatives of Volume and Light. See what I did there?

This past weekend, two friends sent to me the same article highlighting this wonderful trend happening in my own backyard. KnitLab in Nashville works with kids in North Nashville teaching them complex mathematical concepts through knitting. What’s even more exciting is that just a few blocks away is a yarn warehouse owned by the internationally renowned rockstars of the knitting world Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon Knitting.

Ann, the southern part of the duo, is why I am a knitter, but both Ann and Kay are why I LOVE YARN! If all it takes is a few knitting lessons to send girls on the path to STEM, sign me up! Maybe can start with KnitLab and Mason Dixon Knitting teaming up?

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Ann Shayne, half of Mason Dixon Knitting, with her former knitting student (me) at MDK headquarters in North Nashville.

Check out the BRIGHT article Girls Knit Their Way to a Math Career:

Yet Gresalfi has found through interviews that many expert knitters and crocheters often don’t know that they are using this kind of high-level math thinking. It’s within this mysterious meeting of craft, women and attitudes toward math that Gresalfi sees an opportunity to highlight the work that expert needleworkers do. “We’re working on a paper right now that’s demonstrating the rich mathematical thinking that expert crafters engage in. People don’t see it — crafters themselves don’t often see that math is what they’re doing,” she said.

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I’m solving complex mathematical problems – look at me go!

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Vesia Hawkins

Extremely passionate about education choices, fairness, and good football.

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