When dining out, how often do you slide your check across the table and wait for someone else to figure out the tip? Laura Overdeck explores the ways a cultural aversion to math is costing Americans -- especially young girls -- and what we can do to take the anxiety out of mathematics.
Laura Overdeck is the founder of Bedtime Math, a nonprofit that hopes to put math on equal footing with the beloved bedtime story. By positioning math as a fun, recreational activity, Bedtime Math hopes to raise a new generation that never feels math anxiety. In her TEDx talk, Overdeck explores math anxiety among women and girls, and shows how the American culture conspires to convince young women that they are incapable of math, through stereotypes held by parents, teachers, retailers, and other women. It's so pervasive that women who are asked their gender at the start of a math quiz score *worse* than women who weren't reminded that they are female. Overdeck, who majored in astrophysics in college, then describes how these forces can be overcome through culture change, with a call to action for all of us to embrace math and be positive role models for all kids in the next generation, and particularly for the girls.