I recall the first episode of the revolutionary television program The Wonder Years that premiered after the 1988 Super Bowl. Somewhere in a box stored away I have recordings of every episode on VHS tapes that I will most likely never watch. It is probably my favorite television show because it took me back to my childhood, though I was a few years younger than the main character, Kevin Arnold. There were many nights when I could picture myself in that show.
Another character in the show that made a big impression on fans was Kevin’s girl friend, Winnie Cooper, played by Danica McKellar. Many of the storylines took viewers through the joy, pain, and awkwardness of young adolescent boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, as well as the culture classes that took place in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. For many of us that remember televisions shows from our youth (or younger adult years!), we sometimes have those moments wondering whatever happened to some of the stars in those shows we were dedicated to. In the case of Danica McKellar, she continues to act periodically, but she has also become a renowned mathematician and advocate for math education, particularly for girls. She has published a number of books about math that can be found on her website mckellarmath.com. She also recently wrote a story that appeared on nbc.com about math education that I think you will find interesting and have included below:
I Want Girls to Learn Math and Science — and Their Own Self-Worth — Despite Stereotypes