A Math Teachers Perspective By Jessica Kerr

When I first applied for this trip, I had doubts that I would get accepted.  What could a Math and Computer Science teacher contribute to CWBs mission and goals?  I felt like I was the outlier in a group of ELA, History and Arts teachers.  But I really felt I could benefit from the seminar and so did CWB!  I thought, in conclusion of our trip, I would share a few things I noticed over the course of this trip.

First, we learned Jewish families and people had to make impossible choices based on rumors, gut feeling, or no information at all.  I couldn’t help but compare this to today where we are over saturated with information.  We can look back, and with the benefit of history, question why they made some of the those decisions.  But it’s easy to ask that when we carry devices that can provide us with anything we want to know at our fingertips.  But what do we truly do with it? And does everyone know how to use this power correctly?

Second, I couldn’t help but think of the engineering aspects of each concentration camp and Nazi operation we visited.  It made me realize that it wasn’t just politicians and police officers that perpetuated the Holocaust.  There were engineers, scientists, architects, and many other STEM based careers involved.  I don’t know why that hasn’t occurred to me before but I think it’s an important part of the story that isn’t typically highlighted.

And lastly, I worry about the prejudice, bias, and antisemitism we heard about and still witness today.  In computer science I teach students about computing bias and the importance of checking your assumptions and making sure you code with diversity in mind.  In a world with an increasing Artificial Intelligence presence, it is important to realize that ultimately there are people behind those creations.  When they program, they include their biases and this could cause the development of AI to respond with antisemitic or prejudice views.

All of this to state that a teacher from any subject, including Math and Computer Science, can truly benefit from the information we gained throughout this Seminar.  And it is important to teach Jewish history and the Holocaust in all subject areas so we can continue to spread the message of Never Again.

Posted in:
Subject Area: , ,

Related Materials and Events

Scroll to Top