Surfnetkids Newsletter Educational website reviews Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:00:35 +0000 hourly 1 Katherine Johnson Premium Newsletter Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:00:35 +0000 Barbara Feldman Surfing the Net with Kids
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Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson (born August 25, 1918) is an African-American physicist and mathematician who worked on calculating trajectories for NASA. Her work was critical to the success of Project Mercury, the Apollo missions, and the Space Shuttle, but her story wasn’t well known until recently. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award on November 24, 2015, and was the subject of the 2016 book and movie, “Hidden Figures”.

Biography: Katherine G. Johnson

"A bright child with a gift for numbers, she [Johnson] breezed through her classes and completed the eighth grade by age 10. Although her town didn't offer classes for African Americans after that point, her father, Joshua, drove the family 120 miles to Institute, West Virginia, where they lived while she attended high school." Click on Mathematician (in the Quick Facts sidebar) to learn about some of the other women computers of NASA.

History: Human Computers: The Women of NASA

"Comprising an elite team of mathematicians, engineers and scientists, these women were tasked with turning numbers into meaningful data at what would later become NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Langley Research Center." Johnson is just one of seven female pioneers highlighted in this news article.

MAKERS: Women Behind the "Hidden Figures" Movie

MAKERS is a video "storytelling platform for the trailblazing women of today and tomorrow" from AOL. It features more than 4500 videos and interviews with 400 heroines. "In this MAKERS interview, Johnson talks about her early affinity for mathematics, a college professor who noticed her gift and pushed her to pursue advanced math courses and how she eventually became a NASA mathematician who calculated, among many other computations, the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space; John Glenn, the first American to orbit earth; and Apollo 11, the first human mission to the moon."

NASA History: Katherine Johnson

This NASA History mini-site is devoted to Katherine Johnson. It includes dozens of articles and videos, some for middle-school students, others specifically for teachers. Highlights include "The Girl who Loved to Count", and reporting on the myriad of honors that have been bestowed upon Johnson. Be sure to click "More Stories" to see all the resources. "When Johnson graduated from college, the United States was still segregated.... African-Americans were rarely able to have jobs in mathematics and science. It was also very unusual for women of any race to have degrees in mathematics."

NASA: From Hidden Figures to Modern Figures: Katherine Johnson Biography

This Johnson biography is part of the "From Hidden Figures to Modern Figures" exhibition by NASA. Be sure to explore it to learn more about other women at NASA. "Being handpicked to be one of three black students to integrate West Virginia's graduate schools is something that many people would consider one of their life's most notable moments, but it's just one of several breakthroughs that have marked Katherine Johnson's long and remarkable life."

Honorable Mentions

Katherine Johnson

From Computers to Leaders: Women at NASA Langley

5 Extraordinary Facts About Katherine Johnson

NASA Facility Dedicated to Mathematician Katherine Johnson

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Hidden Figures Official Trailer

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Web Search for More Katherine Johnson Sites

Quote of the Week

"No man knows what he can do until he tries." ~~ Carter G. Woodson ~~ (December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950) American historian known as Father of Black History. There are more quotes that inspire achievement at

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