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“Hidden Figures”

This page present award winning movie and Oscar nominated Hidden Figures, release in 2018. The movie talk about extraordinary women scientists behind major Nasa programmes in a time in the segregated context go the 60 in the US. It’s a great movie to show to young people from a historical and scientifically point of view.


What is it about ?

Hidden Figures is a movie telling the story of three incredible African-American female mathematicians. These women were used as “human computers” in NASA when the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space. The movie is based on a true story from the 20s to the 60s in the USA. This story demonstrates that STEM gender-stereotypes existed back then: these women had PHDs but carried out under-skilled jobs. These women show us self-confidence and pride. The fact that the women are Afro-American will inspire women and people of colour in pursuing their dreams. The girls will have role models to identify themselves with. It might be easier for them to make the decision to study maths and computer science.

How to use it ?

This movie can be assigned to students as a homework and learning activities based on the project can be conducted during the class or it can be shown in the class to pen an immediate debate. The discussion can start with: How many women in the computer science field do you know? In terms of astronomy achievement, how many women have been known/recognised for discoveries in this field? This is the point when another recent women scientist Katie Bouman, from MIT who developed a kay algorithm to capture the image of black hole can be introduced as a role model. The movie as well as the articles can be shown as an example of successful women in STEM fields. As homework, students can prepare a short description or presentation of 1 women scientist and her achievement and prepare a class booklet.





Teaching Activity

Awareness raising