TULSA, Oklahoma - More than 300 middle and high school girls spent Friday celebrating Sonya Kovalevsky Day at Tulsa Community College.

Who's that, you ask? She's a 19th Century mathematician who teachers hope will help inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.

Data analysis, the size of the universe and measurements of volumes and liquids are just a few of the topics these girls learned about Friday.

But, these aren't your typical classroom lessons.

TCC assistant math professor, Sabrina Ripp, said the lessons are designed to inspire students to see how they can use math to understand the world around them.

"When they start taking their math classes, or if they are in high school, they are starting to think about colleges, this might help them pick a career that is STEM-related," she said.

Ripp said that's a problem schools across the country are having - getting girls interested in jobs that involve science, technology, engineering, and math.

"We see that a lot of young ladies, specifically young ladies, start losing that spark for mathematics at an earlier age," she said.

Ripp hopes events like this will inspire more girls like Union eighth grader, Avery Gibson.

"It's just so cool because I am more interested in 10-times more things than I was whenever I came here, and I think this is just a wonderful opportunity," the eighth-grader said.

Gibson said she wants to be a genetic engineer.

"I feel so strong, and up there, and I feel like I can take on the world," she said.

Ripp said fired up students, like Gibson, are the reason why this event is so important for Oklahoma students.

"Seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces as they leave a math classroom, that's amazing because you know that they have seen something, maybe in a different way than they have seen a math problem before," she said.