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STEM Genius, NASA Star Katherine Johnson



by Kenneth Rudich

STEMIn 2015, Katherine Johnson was awarded the U.S.’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for her work as a mathematician at NASA.

In a recently released book, Hidden Figures, author Margot Lee Shetterly recounts the story of how a group of African American women, including Johnson, overcame racism and sexism in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement to pursue and achieve some of the most important scientific work NASA has ever seen.

This same story has also been turned into a movie starring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson and Janelle Monae. Ms. Henson plays the brilliant mathematician Katherine Johnson, who is now in her nineties.

Were it not for the genius of Katherine Johnson, the world may never have heard of U.S. Astronauts like Alan Shepard or John Glenn. Nor might the U.S. have ever put a man on the moon.

We at had the prescience (given that the rest of the world has now caught up) to feature the remarkable and inspiring story of Katherine Johnson in a Stylized PowerPoint Video for Black History Month back in 2012.

Watch the video to learn a little more about her.


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