Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson
There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College
“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016
Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida
The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.
African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.
STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.
STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.
William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.
When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.
HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.
Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.
Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.
U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.
“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…
Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles
Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
The Office of Science and Technology Policy
Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson