We All Have Math Brains, Thanks To This Sassy ’80s-Style Infomercial

by Laura McMahon


Math Brain is the PSA of our dreams, and here’s why.

A recent article by Silicon UK outlined the need for more women in technology. We are all aware of the lacking female participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics despite the emergence of incentives in recent years. Such incentives like Codelikeagirl and Women in Technology International help to facilitate ladies getting involved with STEM careers.

A more comical contribution to this persisting struggle emerged recently in the shape of Math Brain.  Spearheaded by a predominantly female team, the hilarious video chronicles the before and after testimonials of a diverse cast of ladies falsely believing they are bad at math.

Funding this project in part is the Harnisch Foundation, a private foundation advancing equality with a focus on women and girls. “As a woman who lived through the ’80s era of infomercials, big hair, and almost zero encouragement and support for girls who were interested in math and science, I’m hoping Math Brain will help today’s girls embrace their natural skills in STEM,” says Ruth Ann Harnisch.

Cate Scott Campbell, producer and writer of this visual campaign smashes stereotypes in the dreamy ‘80s-themed video empowering teen girls and millennials to get more involved with mathematics as well as other STEM industries. “Giving the genre a fresh update allows us to examine the continual struggle of holding onto an outdated myth. And who isn’t obsessed with the ‘80s?” says Campbell, who also plays the shoulder pad-wearing spokesperson.

Screen Shot 2017 03 23 at 16.36.41 copy 

“Well, what if I told you that now you can — introducing the math brain, previously thought to be genetically incompatible with the female DNA. I am pleased to announce that now the math brain can be yours. In fact, if you’re watching this, it is yours. Why? Because you already have one. The idea that some people are born with math brains and others are not is scientifically incorrect…”

Since it’s soft launch on Pi Day, the 14th of March, the video has received widespread acclaim from a range of channels including Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Tumblr and Ms. magazine.

Sassy and satirical, this ‘80s themed video disguised as an infomercial nails it in showing all of the reasons why girls can and should ditch the stigma about STEM.

You can find more videos and more information about the MATH BRAIN project at ihaveamathbrain.com.

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