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Two Black Girls Prove Impossible Math Theorem

Black Girl MATHgic in Real Life

Something incredible just happened in the math world this week and it has the whole world in awe, admiration, and joy for two young black mathematicians. And if you’re wondering what news could possibly be so captivating about math, then keep reading because this story will surely inspire you to reshape any dissenting attitude you may have about numbers, equations, and figures. Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson just cracked the code on something mathematicians have been trying to figure out for nearly 2,000 years. And they accomplished it while still in high school, y’all!

Beyond Critical Thinking

You probably have a vague recall of the Pythagorean Theorem from your high school math class. And beyond understanding it having something to do with the relationship between the sides of a triangle, most of us never thought any deeper about the concept or wondered how to apply it to our daily lives. 

Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, two high school students from New Orleans, LA, not only delved deep into thought about the Pythagorean Theorem (otherwise known as a2 + b2 = c2), they were able to find a way to prove the theorem using trigonometry without circular logic which is a fancy way of stating how an idea can’t prove itself. If that math isn’t mathing for you, just know they not only understood the assignment, they went above and beyond what reputed mathematicians of the last 20 centuries have attempted and figured out the seemingly impossible. Did we mention they’re just in high school??

Why This Matters So Much and Who’s Got Next?

Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson are two brilliant black girls who have set the math and STEM world ablaze – unless you were living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the multiple articles, posts, and news stories about their incredible achievement, and by the time this blog post is published, there will surely be many more. These young women are proof that with hard work, dedication, and support, black girls can achieve anything they set their minds to.

Their discovery is a BIG deal inside and outside of the math world – they were the only high schoolers in the room when they presented their findings at the recent American Mathematical Society’s Annual Southeastern Conference where no one could refute or disprove the claims of their proof.

As incredible as Calcea and Ne’Kiya are, we know they are only two examples among even more burgeoning geniuses awaiting their opportunity to elevate the math field and fortunately we dedicate an entire month to lend focus and awareness on exactly how to inspire the next generation of black girls.

April is National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the importance of mathematics and statistics in our daily lives. This month is a great opportunity to promote math and statistics education, encourage interest in STEM fields, and celebrate the achievements of mathematicians and statisticians like Calcea and Ne’Kiya.

Yeah, You Really Do Need Math

Mathematics and statistics are essential for understanding the world around us. They play a vital role in fields such as science, engineering, finance, and technology. Without math and statistics, we would not have many of the products and services we rely on every day.

Mathematics and statistics can also be fun and exciting as proven by the veritable rockstar status Calcea and Ne’Kiya have risen to. Math and statistics offer a way to solve complex problems and explore new ideas. Through math and statistics, we can better understand the natural world, explore patterns and relationships, and make predictions about the future.

Unfortunately, many people feel intimidated by math and statistics. They may have had negative experiences with math in school or feel that it is too difficult or irrelevant to their lives. This is where National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month comes in!

By promoting the importance and excitement of math and statistics and providing representative role models to emulate, we can help build confidence and interest in these subjects. The success of Calcea and Ne’Kiya is a testament to the power of representation and mentorship. Seeing people who look like them in positions of leadership and success helps young black girls to believe that they too can achieve greatness. When we expose, empower, and support black girls in math and statistics we not only help them to achieve their dreams, but society also wins because they contribute to the advancement of these fields.

Building A More Math-Confident World

One great way to get involved in National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month is to participate in local events and activities. Many schools, museums, and community organizations host math and statistics fairs, workshops, and lectures during this month. These events offer a chance to learn more about math and statistics, meet role models and others who share your interests, and have fun.

Another way to celebrate National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month is to explore math and statistics on your own. At Black Girl MATHgic, we offer some great resources available to you on our website to get you engaged and inspired such as our Mathematician Hall of Fame, where you can learn about the stories and backgrounds of our featured black women mathematicians. We also offer a weekly math puzzle to develop problem-solving skills and we even include a puzzle solution in case you get stuck. You can peruse our podcasts, videos and articles to learn more about our love and passion for all things math. And you’ll find some of our favorite math and statistics-inspired books and manipulatives while scrolling through some of our past boxes. These activities offer a fun way to exercise your brain and build confidence in your math and statistics skills.

At Black Girl MATHgic, we are passionate about promoting math and statistics education and building confidence in these subjects. Our subscription box is designed to help children on a 3rd-8th grade math level develop an enthusiasm for math through stories about dynamic mathematicians and hands-on activities and games. Our goal is to make math fun, accessible, and relevant to everyone.

This National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, please join us in celebration of Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, two shining examples of what can be achieved when black girls are given the resources and support they need to succeed in math and statistics. At Black Girl MATHgic we believe that every black girl has the potential to be a trailblazer in math, statistics, or whatever career she pursues. This month celebrates and elevates the importance of math and statistics in our lives. Whether you attend local events, explore math and statistics on your own, or subscribe to our confidence-building math subscription box, there are many ways to get involved and promote math and statistics education. Let’s work together to build a more math-confident world!

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