My Quest To Teach

February 6, 2017

My Hidden Figures Reflection

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Taylor and students from Venetia Elementary and Lee High School

My Hidden Figures Reflection
By: Breyonna Fox,
Blogging Intern with My Quest To Teach
Jacksonville, Florida
My first thought when I finished watching Hidden
Figures was, “Wow, they actually did all of those
things, like they accomplished their goals.” I thought
this was very inspirational, because back then it was
very hard for other races besides Caucasians, to do
the things they wanted and love. In the movie there
is a part when Mary Jackson’s husband even doubts
her accomplishing her dreams, showing how
un-motivated people were and how many dreams
were simply crushed and forgotten.

Then there was Dorothy Vaughn who wanted to be
a supervisor for her group of women who are highly
skilled with computers. She wanted to move on with
her dreams when she realized Katherine and Mary
was moving up with theirs. NASA wouldn’t make
her a supervisor though, she worked hard and even
acted like a supervisor to her group of woman. Then
one day she got a huge offer, but she would only do
it if her girls were with her as well. So they allowed it.
She finally became a supervisor. She is the first
African American woman to supervise a staff
at the West Area Computers Division. Another part
in the movie shows when she took her sons to the
library to get some books to help her out with work,
they ended up getting kicked out, just because
Dorothy needed the book, but the library was whites’
only.

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It was upsetting to see how she couldn’t check
out the book and then the security guard pushed
her sons out as well. Then when she got on the
bus she still had the book on her and when her
sons asked why and she said she pays taxes
and those taxes help the library out. I know
Dorothy is a very witty and strong person. She
stayed determined in what she believed in and
knew she could accomplish her goals, she didn’t
leave her girls and moved them up with her.

Mary Jackson, wanted to become an engineer,
in the beginning she had doubts about it. She
was talking about it with her co-worker and she
said how impossible it felt, her co-workers told
her she could do it, because they were already
doing the impossible. I thought about what she
said and how she had hope that Mary could
accomplish her goals. It showed me even when
things feel impossible, they aren’t. She even
went to court to fight for what she wanted and
got night classes at University, an all-white
school! That was amazing. I really loved that part,
because that filled so much hope in Mary and
made her believe more in herself that she could
accomplish a lot more things after that, Mary
Jackson became the first female African
American NASA engineer. Mary is a sassy, brave
and determined for what she fights for.
Last, but not least was Katherine Goble,
she was strongly skilled in mathematics and
had an analytical mind. She got a new assignment
by Al Harrison, so she had to move to a new
part of the company.

When she was getting escorted, the woman told her,
“you will be the first black person here. Don’t make
me regret choosing you. Most people only last a few
days, so don’t get used to it.” Then when Katherine
entered everyone stared at her. Her co-workers were
rude towards her as well. She went to grab some
coffee and everyone was staring at her. She
immediately felt uncomfortable and sat down and
sipped her coffee slowly. After that incident they
got a second coffee maker and it said “colored”,
she went to use it, it was empty, sending a message.

This showed me how even though Katherine
accomplished her goals, there will always be people
trying to bring her down. Then she got upset and
explained to Harrison how rude everyone was acting
towards her and how she never got pearls and how
no one wants to use the same coffee maker as her,
since earlier she was always in the bathroom and he
would ask where she went. Then the next day he
tore down the “whites only” bathroom and the
“colored” signs and he said, “no whites or colored,
we’re all the same here.” That showed me how
Al Harrison really cared about Katherine as an
employee and he didn’t care about skin color.

Then when Katherine got engaged, her co-workers
got her a pearl necklace, which was Harrison’s ideas
too, which she wore to her wedding. Then later on in
the movie, when John Glenn was going to orbit
around earth, he said he only trusted Katherine with
her calculations and with his safety, he knew she
was brilliant and he only trusted her not the computer
machine. He was right too, he had trouble up in space,
but he got back safe.

Katherine played a huge roll in John Glenn’s journey
and Apollo space program landing a man on the moon.
In 2015, Katherine received National Medal of Freedom
from President Obama.

breyonna-fox
Breyonna Fox, blogger

This movie showed me that anything you set your mind
to you can accomplish. You just have to stay determined
and full of courage. This movie is very inspiring and
does prove to other women and girls they can do things
even when they feel it’s out of their reach.
Edited by Prof. William Jackson  #MyQuestToTeach

Resources dedicated to women
TEDxFSCJ Salon: Lift as We Climb:
Women Race and Politics
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
FSCJ – Downton Campus
Auditorium A-1068
http://www.tedxfscj.com/events/

Real Talk Real Change
We Are Women Hear Us More..
Thursday, February 16, 2017
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Riverside North – 2711 Edison Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida
rtrc20viii20-20fb20cover20-20320sponsors_0

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January 27, 2017

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In The Future

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In  The Future
by William Jackson

taylor-and-mom

Congratulations to Latanya Richardson and her daughter
Taylor Richardson for the success of showing Hidden
Figures in Jacksonville, Florida to over 200 girls.
The awesome story of how African American women
helped NASA to put astronauts into space and bring
them back to earth.
Girls and women from around Jacksonville, Florida
attended representing groups and schools from
around the city. As a teacher I had the honor to bring
several students from Venetia Elementary School a
Medical Magnet STEM that teaches grade K to 5th 
and
a Lee High School student. My only regret is
that I could not bring more.

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The emotional and psychological inspiration of
this movie demands to ask what is next to keep
the seriousness and the historical value of this
movie moving forward. STEM and STEAM that
are being applied in the educational cultures of
schools is seen as not only career necessary, but
has scientific, business and commerce influences
in this country and on a global scale.
The movie brilliantly showed not just the struggles
of women in the NASA Space Program, but showed
the value and application of their education.
The reason why educational degrees are important,
the value of visiting the library to learn new things
and applying them to real world situations, and the
personal responsibility to prepare for the future.

book-hf

There were many scenes where the women were called
“computers” as their analytical abilities where recognized,
but only later were they respected after showing and
demanding equality through leadership opportunities and
promotions that were withheld only because of their color.
Working with many types of math and integrating
mathematical equations that sometimes had to be created.
This shows that girls and women have the skill sets and
analytical abilities to function in complex and STEAM
areas that demand creativity and innovation.

Hidden Figures addressed several civil rights issues in the
areas of political and educational equality that in some cases
are still being addressed for Black
s, Hispanics and others of
color,
the struggle still continues and there
have been many successes.

group-picture

Girls and women will take away many lessons from the
movie and see how history was changed not just by
protests, by going to school to earn advanced degrees,
learning the laws of the nation, how to speak properly
without using profanity, the importance of family unity
and support and setting goals that everyone works towards.

Another important key is to carry or act like there is
self-pride, cultural respect and intelligence.
 A key lesson
shared is that children  
learned early that education is
the ticket to a better life even when there are
struggles
and
challenges to be overcome.

Even seeing the implementation of “new” technologies
at the time when early computers where not as easy to
use, but there was continued learning in programming
languages that demanded studying and forward thinking.
The movement to gaining educational parity and equality
is a great value for boys and girls of color, this movie is
worth seeing again and applied to the learning initiatives
in all schools to allow students to see the why they
need to be serious about their education and the vision
for their dreams of success.

ibm

Seeing the new IBM computers being used, but it
took a woman to learn the programming language to
make it work sends a message that women are as smart
and intelligent as men, even if those men are Black
or white.
There are no barriers than can stop girls and women
from gaining l
eadership skill-sets and applying the
intelligence to make positive and historical changes.
Parents, mothers, fathers, and grandparents if you
have not seen Hidden Figures take your children and
other children if possible to see this movie that not
only shows the historical application of education
and cultural  pride and respect, that gender is not
a liability
, color is not a curse, there is a blending of
historical successes and  global influence.

movie-relaxing

Hidden Figures opens the mind’s eye that anything is
possible, t
hat dreams can be achieved, and intelligence
is Dope and Lit.
What is next is up to parents, schools, churches and
communities to support children, youth and teens.
Time will tell, graduations rates from high school
and college will tell and the growing number of girls
and boys of co
lor in  STEM careers will tell.

 

January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

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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.

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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
diversity.
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,
April 2013

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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…

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Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles
School

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
gifted abilities.

Resouces:
Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics
https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future/home.htm

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
http://www.firstinspires.org/

Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
https://www.facebook.com/markdmccombs

The Office of Science and Technology Policy
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/women

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
https://m.facebook.com/amightygirl/posts/1222453677790943:0

Photos:

 

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