Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Danica McKellar Offers a Swift Kick in the Math

Danica McKellar is at it again, with a new book on math for girls called Kiss My Math. This time, the actress and math major helps girls cope with pre-algebra.

I suspect McKellar's pleased to have seen that girls are closing the gap with boys when it comes to math, but she's also smart enough to know that it's not enough for girls to be as good at math as boys. They both need to be able to apply this knowledge to their futures. Math and science are crucial to American success in the future. Say what you will about kids today or how "my kids are doing fine." We need to encourage all kids to do their best in math and science, because even the most basic jobs these days tend to incorporate technological skills.

Pre-algebra is necessary, as is geometry, algebra, statistics, and even a healthy dose of trigonometry won't kill kids. Personally, I loved calculus. But we can't expect everything to change right away.


Feliza said...

The problem I see isn't in math - it's in the sciences. Scientists are in high demand, especially if the USA wants to keep its place in the forefront of the world's technology.

But a lot of kids have a hard time understanding science.

If we could just fix that, somehow, then things would run a lot smoother.

Matt Sinclair said...

Thanks for coming back, Feliza! I completely agree that the sciences are crucial and there is a significant need to be addressed. But math is such a fundamental tool to working in science that I place it right up there. For example, much of the foundational work in physics is made much easier by a basic understanding of calculus. You can't get to the moon or Mars without knowing the physics, but you need to do the math to do the physics. Thanks again, Feliza!