A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series encourages tweens to appreciate the usefulness of math in a variety of careers. Teens’ interactions with professionals in fashion, music, and technology give real-world meaning to basic algebraic concepts, showing tweens how the skills they’re learning now will serve them later in life. The show strives for diversity in its participant base, including an ethnically diverse group of teens as well as showcasing women in careers traditionally dominated by men.
What's the story?
In GET THE MATH, teens interact with professionals in fields like musical production, fashion, and computer gaming to understand how math skills play a role in their work. Each segment starts with some background information about the participant’s job, after which four teens visit the office to get a sense of the work. During their visit, the teens are presented with a real-life challenge to solve using their knowledge of algebra.
Is it any good?
Kudos to any series that can entice tweens to appreciate the usefulness of math. But while that's the plan for Get the Math, but unfortunately falls victim to its own ambition. Because the show tries to be thorough in giving background on the adult participants and the jobs they do before bringing in the teens, there’s just too little time to devote to the part of the show that’s really geared to its young audience. In the end, the teens’ time onscreen is minimal, and, as a result, the simplistic challenges feel pretty one-dimensional.
But that’s not to say the show isn’t worthwhile. If the subject matter interests your tweens enough to keep them watching, then only good can come of exposing them to the idea of the diverse, real-life applications of math.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about careers. Did any of the jobs you saw on this show intrigue you? What special skills and knowledge do these professionals need to do their jobs? How does math factor into each one? What other careers would use math knowledge?
How does the show's inclusion of teen girls and women encourage gender-neutral interest in math? Which traditionally male careers are becoming more accessible to women?
Discuss your family's rules about TV and other media. What time limits and content restrictions does your family have? Why? How do they keep you safe?