The film weaves these events into the dramatic personal stories with skill and accuracy, making it an ideal film for the classroom. It is sure to serve as inspiration to many young women considering a career in science and mathematics. Hidden Figures has been nominated for many awards, including the Academy Awards, BAFTA, the Golden Globes, the NAACP Image Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and the African-American Film Critics Association. Film credits Director: Theodore Melfi Screenplay: Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, based on the book with the same title by Margot Lee Shetterly Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi Actors: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell, Kimberly Quinn, Kevin Costner, Olek Krupa Introducing Hidden Figures Space exploration in the modern age is entering a new phase, replete with private space companies, prospective lunar tourism, and even projected travel to Mars, the closest planet in our solar system. It is fitting, therefore, to pause to look back at the early years of the United States space program, and particularly the early efforts to launch astronauts into orbit, a preliminary step toward a moon landing. Hidden Figures tells us about a generally unheralded group of women whose brilliance and dedication provided a foundation for the space program—the black women known as “human computers” who worked at the NASA Center in Langley, Virginia. Faced with obstacles to their own education and to job prospects because of race and gender, these women succeeded in earning places and eventually respect in a workplace dominated by male supervisors and colleagues, many of whom were reluctant to hire women, and marked by segregated facilities, from office to restroom, that reflected the pre-civil rights era. Katherine Johnson, physicist and mathematician, calculated the orbits, trajectories, and launch windows that would put John Glenn and others into space and bring them back safely. Dorothy Vaughan, another mathematician, became the first African-American supervisor at NASA, learning the computer language FORTRAN on her own and teaching it to her staff. Mary Jackson, an aerospace engineer as well as a mathematician, had to go to court to earn the right to take graduate-level courses at a previously all-white school; she eventually also served as a program officer helping other women succeed at NASA.
J o u r n e y s i n F i l m : H i d d e n F i g u r e s 11 To the Teacher This curriculum guide to Hidden Figures , like other Journeys in Film resources, is based on a few fundamental beliefs: • That a well-made, relevant film is an excellent way to convey information and teach students important critical thinking skills. • That an interdisciplinary approach will reach students who have different learning modalities and interests. • That talented teachers interacting with real students on a daily basis are best positioned to write good lesson plans.
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- Winter '17
- Mrs. Manternach