On Monday, February 24th, Katherine Goble Johnson passed away at the age of 101. Katherine is best known as the mathematician who was one of the inspirations for the film “Hidden Figures” and whose work calculating orbital trajectories were essential to the first crewed orbital flight and the advancement of the space race. Her story as a woman of color working at NASA in the ‘50s has inspired people around the world and her contributions to mathematics and computer science are immeasurable.
Sharing stories such as Katherine’s with our students is an important part of KidsTek’s goal to inspire students from traditionally under-served and under recognized populations to pursue tech careers. Too often, students are discouraged from early interest in STEM fields because they do not see people who look like them in those fields. The incredible accomplishments and extraordinary perseverance of figures like Katherine demonstrate that people from all walks of life can flourish and excel in STEM and that every field benefits from having a diversity of outlooks and ideas. We teach our students to believe in this idea and to believe in their own ability to overcome any obstacle and succeed. When you support KidsTek by donating or volunteering, you too are helping students from all backgrounds change the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the life of Katherine Goble Johnson, you can read her biography on NASA’s website. While you’re there, check the left-side bar for stories of more amazing hidden figures.