If you read all the articles about America falling behind in math and science you can’t help but be bummed out, but that’s not how we roll at MAKE… Below is a snip from a recent report about how we’re collectively making math uncool, instead of pointing fingers or complaining, I’d like to ask everyone to post up in the comments on what *you’re* doing with your kids to make math more fun and “cool”… We have a lot of teachers and parents who read MAKE so let everyone know what’s working and what’s not, I’ll send a Maker’s Notebook to a good suggestion or story… (check out links after the jump from past posts, math is a huge part of any craft).
Americans may like to make fun of girls who are good at math, but this attitude is robbing the country of some of its best talent, researchers reported on Friday. They found that while girls can be just as talented as boys at mathematics, some are driven from the field because they are teased, ostracized or simply neglected. “The U.S. culture that is discouraging girls is also discouraging boys,” Janet Mertz, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who led the study said in a statement. “The situation is becoming urgent. The data show that a majority of the top young mathematicians in this country were not born here.”
Writing in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Mertz and colleagues described their analysis of data from international math competitions going back to 1974. They also looked at surveys of U.S. students. “It is deemed uncool within the social context of USA middle and high schools to do mathematics for fun; doing so can lead to social ostracism. Consequently, gifted girls, even more so than boys, usually camouflage their mathematical talent to fit in well with their peers,” they wrote.
Listen to math proofs in MIDI.
Alarm clock makes you do math.
Math and Knitting: Figuring Out Patterns.