Tween Book Smart Alex Promotes Math, Science and Teaching as Compelling Career Choices

Girls Know How® Book Series Addresses Need for Children to Explore Careers in Innovation

Online PR News – 20-August-2009 – – “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Even the loftiest answers, such as astronaut or brain surgeon, seem possible to a child while dreaming of his or her future. But something changes as children become tweens. Studies show that middle school girls often shift attention from achievement and personal goals to social acceptance and body consciousness. That means that a girl who formerly aspired to being an architect, engineer or scientist might abandon those dreams while succumbing to peer pressure – and those lost dreams can impact tomorrow’s society.

According to a study by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, not enough girls are preparing themselves to enter the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Only 26% of STEM doctoral degrees were awarded to women and with the national STEM workforce declining as a whole – between 2001 and 2006 enrollments for degrees in computer sciences alone dropped a dramatic 40% – employers are issuing dire cautions about the lack of domestic talent available.

The latest title in the Girls Know How® book series addresses that startling fact. With a strong focus on the importance of education, Smart Alex reinforces the idea that math can be fun and rewarding to Girls Know How readers – tender and impressionable 8- to 12-year-old middle school girls.

The teacher who helps Alex enjoy learning about STEM is a character inspired by
real-life accomplished educator Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Founding President and President Emerita of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

“Mind shaping is world shaping,” says Dr. Pace Marshall. “Planting and nurturing the seed in the minds of girls to explore the compelling fields of science, technology, engineering and math are crucial steps in creating and sustaining a foundation for future innovation. Without a focused and consistent commitment to develop our nation’s diverse talent pool, we will not be prepared to lead in the global economy. The story of Smart Alex can help to shape our next generation of STEM innovators.”

About the Girls Know How® book series: The Girls Know How concept was developed to educate all readers ages 8 through 12 about career exploration and to inspire and support girls to follow their dreams by exposing them to a variety of jobs, exceptional role models and characters who might be just like them.

Each book in the series invites readers to take an adventure-filled journey with a main character who discovers that she can achieve just about anything with a little ambition, perseverance and teamwork. As she faces challenges along the way, each heroine is encouraged by a character inspired by a real-life successful woman who provides invaluable guidance and support. Currently, there is no similar offering on career education.

“The message from Smart Alex,” says author Ellen Langas Campbell, “creatively reinforces the simple, yet priceless message of the Girls Know How series: that a young girl’s career aspirations, no matter what they are, can be achieved. With desire and the example of positive role models, all girls really can be who they want to be when they grow up!”

Girls Know How books have been received enthusiastically by young readers, parents and teachers and are available nationally in bookstores and online (, Barnes & Noble, Borders,, etc.). They are available to the trade through Baker & Taylor, Brodart, BWI and Follett Library Resources.

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