What can you do with kids that use "nerd" and "geek" as offensive words? Tell them about Bill Gates - a self-made billionaire who lives in a house with a swimming pool equipped with an underwater music system; describe to them Google founders who go surfing in-between business meetings around the world and turned their own Boeing 767 jet into a party plane; point out those geeks polishing their statistical presentations in the roomy Business Class section of your next flight while enjoying an enviably large dessert selection.
A new TV show and a book may further help you demolish down the stereotypes.
Head Rush - an amazingly cool Science Channel show for ages 9-15. Click for program schedule in your area.
For younger kids, an old favorite - PBS's Cyberchase - is guaranteed to captivate, encourage scientific curiosity and associate "geek" with "hip." Link to the website with show schedule and online games.
When most of us visualize mathematicians, we image emotionless men in plaid shirt with heavy prescription glasses. A book that is fresh out of the publishing oven is challenging such stereotypes by depicting mathematicians' passions, collaborations, love affairs and even murder crimes.
Loving and Hating Mathematics: Challenging the Myths of Mathematical Life
Reuben Hersh and Vera John-Steiner Princeton University Press 428 pp. $29.95 (2011)
You can find more Math and Science resources (books, TV&Radio show, iPhone apps, CD Roms) split down by ages on TheMatMom's Resources Page.