Did you know that more than 90 percent of Americans believe math is necessary to having success in life? Despite the fact that 30 percent of Americans believe they are any good at the subject. Here's a really crazy stat: 30 percent of Americans have such an aversion to math problems that they'd rather clean a bathroom than solve one. It's like we're a nation of "Math Class Is Tough" Teen Talk Barbies. (See video below.)
Those numbers come from a survey that Ogilvy PR did in conjunction with a speech President Obama made yesterday about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. In it, he announced the launch of Change the Equation, a non-profit organization founded by former NASA astronaut Sally Ride and the CEOs of Intel, Eastman Kodak, Time Warner Cable, and Xerox, which will promote science and technology to kids.
The campaign will recruit and support a new generation of math and science teachers, introduce privately funded programs in 100 need-based communities to take harder math and science courses and enter science fairs and robotics contests; and compile state-by-state "scorecards" to help state education departments identify areas where they can focus STEM efforts.
The goal, of course, is to make America more competitive with peer nations that are now far ahead of us in math and science education. The possible downside: more dirty bathrooms.