This NASA Genius Invented the Super Soaker
Remember the childhood hours of fun spent blasting your friends with neon-tinged water cannons? You can thank a NASA scientist for that. In 1982, Lonnie Johnson designed the Super Soaker. But that wasn't Johnson's only invention. The award-winning scientist came up with everything from the Nerf gun to a thermoelectric energy converter, and now he's got even bigger aims. Lonnie Johnson: we thank you for your contributions to humanity and our childhoods. From CNN's website, "Great Big Story."
How Many Women Were There?
Question: How many African American female mathematicians were there at NASA during the time period of the book Hidden Figures?
Answer: Author Margot Lee Shetterly estimates that there were about 80 African American female mathematicians working for NASA between 1943 and the early 1980s.
Question: What was the total of all female mathematicians at NASA during the same time?
Answer: Shetterly thinks maybe more than 1000.
For more details, please see Ms. Shetterly's discussion on "Black America: Human Computers with Margot Shetterly" at about minute 9.
The Bayview Project
Hidden Figures begins in the early 1940s. What was going on here in the San Francisco Bay Area at that time? In addition to the creation of Marin City (Please see "Marinship" tab on this guide), many African Americans migrated to Bayview, a neighborhood in southern San Francisco. Learn about it here! From the Museum of the African Diaspora, which is a great place to visit in San Francisco. It's on Mission Street between 2nd and 3rd Street, right around the corner from the Museum of Modern Art. Please see map.
“We were just as segregated here as we were in the South. Bayview couldn’t have existed if there wasn’t segregation.” - Mary Booker
Mary Booker. Read her memories here.
Only Woman to Win Fields Math Medal Dies
"Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the only woman ever to win a Fields Medal, the most prestigious honor in mathematics, died on Saturday. She was 40. The cause was breast cancer, said Stanford University, where she was a professor....The Fields Medal, established in 1936, is often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics." "New York Times," July 16, 2017.
Why Women Aren't CEOs
"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers."
Hiring, Diversity, and College of Marin
Want to read more about diversity issues and the hiring process? Check out this College of Marin LIbGuide, chock-full of resources!
Questions about COMmon Read? Ideas?
(415) 457-8811, extension 7869
The Civil Rights Movement in The Bay Area
Digital Curator — Regena Rosati, The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.
"This exhibit shows the struggles and triumphs during the Civil Rights Movement in the Bay Area through photographs and news stories from the News-Call Bulletin Newspaper during the period 1960-1965."
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Check out the collections of the newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016:
For example, here are museum objects related to some aspects of Hidden Figures:
Example of great museum objects you can find: Photo of Katherine Johnson by Annie Leibovitz!