The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague – written by Julia Finley Mosca, illustrated by Daniel Rieley, and published in 2018 – explores the amazing life of Raye Montague. A groundbreaking “hidden figure” in the U.S. Navy, Montague completed the world’s first ship design by computer in 1971. She went on to become the U.S. Navy’s first female program manager of ships, and the book delves into her achievements – she was a self-taught engineer! – and the challenges she navigated with grace and a wry sense of humor.

When you’re finished reading The Girl With a Mind for Math, ask kids these comprehensions questions:

  • How did Raye Montague become an engineer?
  • What challenges did she face, and how did she overcome them, particularly in relation to becoming a ship designer?

For our Rosie Reads activity, ask kids to research and investigate the history of math and technology! Like Raye Montague, today we use calculators and computers to make math faster and more accurate. But what did people do before the age of computing?

Some questions for kids to ponder while they do their research:

  • Prior to computers, how did people do basic arithmetic that involved really large quantities?
  • How did they take measurements to construct buildings and ships, and how did they make sure those measurements were accurate?
  • How did they measure distance like miles and meters and make maps to scale?

We know you’ll discover some really cool instruments and technologies!