Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Women, STEM and public schools - Lily's Blackboard

Women, STEM and public schools - Lily's Blackboard:

Women, STEM and public schools 

I didn’t know the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson until the movie “Hidden Figures.” These three African American women—whose work at NASA’s Langley Research Center helped land the first man on the moon in 1969—truly were hidden.
They, along with the other women who worked for NASA and its predecessor beginning in the 1930s, did their important work behind the scenes. That’s one of the best reasons I can think of to observe National Women’s History Month as well as International Women’s Day, which is on March 8: to celebrate the women in every era whose accomplishments, adventures and courage have gotten us where we are today, whether we know their names or not. 
The fascinating careers of Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson also tell us that behind-the-scenes roles are critical in every segment of our lives and society, and essential to every advance we make.
The movie “Hidden Figures” and National Women’s History Month are also good reasons for ramping-up our efforts to interest girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The pathway to STEM careers was forged by women like Vaughn, Jackson and Johnson, a physicist who calculated trajectories for Alan Shepard’s 1961. She also verified the calculations for John Glenn’s first orbit of Earth and computed the trajectory for the Apollo 11 flight to the moon.
In the 1930s, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, forerunner to NASA, hired women as “computers” to make sure engineers’ calculations worked. The program was expanded in the ‘50s to include African-American Women, STEM and public schools - Lily's Blackboard:

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