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From a well-known actress and math genius—a groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators
As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to drop—especially for girls—in large part due to the relentless social conditioning that tells girls they “can’t do” math, and that math is “uncool.” Young girls today need strong female role models to embrace the idea that it’s okay to be smart—in fact, it’s sexy to be smart!
It’s Danica McKellar’s mission to be this role model, and demonstrate on a large scale that math doesn’t suck. In this fun and accessible guide, McKellar—dubbed a “math superstar” by The New York Times—gives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. The book features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica’s own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today’s teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonials—ultimately revealing why math is easier and cooler than readers think.
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Best known for her roles on The Wonder Years and The West Wing, Danica McKellar is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA with a degree in Mathematics, Danica has been honored in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics and The New York Times for her work in mathematics, most notably for her role as co-author of a groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem, which bears her name (The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem.) Her passion for promoting girls’ math education began in 2000, when she was invited to speak before Congress on the importance of women in math and science. Since then, Danica has made it a priority to find time in her busy acting schedule to promote math education, often appearing around the country as a speaker at national mathematics conferences.Review:
"McKellar... may well have done more to encourage girls to stick with math than any government task force... the wildly enthusiastic response [her books] have received speaks to the effect that can be achieved by reworking the contents of standard math and science problems and countering the perception that boys won't like girls who are smart."—Eileen Pollack, The New York Times
"Exhorts her female readers not to fall prey to others' low expectations, especially expectations that are based on deeply ingrained stereotypes stemming from one's appearance... McKellar genuinely wants to change the way girls view intelligence and, more importantly, themselves... McKellar hopes to revise the girly image of dim-bulbs with a new formulation: Smart is sexy. And that's an equation we all can understand."—Erica Stalnecker, National Review
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