Can a Math Museum Remedy 'Math Anxiety'?

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A square-wheeled tricycle at the Museum of Mathematics
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It may not surprise you to learn that American students dread math.  Or that that they feel that dread physically through stomachaches, headaches, fluttering heartbeats and sweaty palms.

Many Takeaway listeners have been sharing their own tales of math-induced terror: Listener Aman writes, "I have failed every single math class I have ever taken. I am humiliated by this fact and it led to years of low self-esteem, but the only thing that kept me going is the fact that I am a bright, intelligent woman who has chosen a career path that will never ever involve math in it."

Lots of people, it turns, out retain math anxiety through adulthood.   But it might surprise you to learn just how young students are when math anxiety kicks in. New research from New York University suggests students start fearing math as early as first grade.  Dr. Rose Vukovic is a professor of teaching and learning at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development where she's studying this problem.

For a little perspective on how to remedy math anxiety, The Takeaway visited the National Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan.