Journeys in Film has created a curriculum that’s centered around the real-life events that inspired the hit film Hidden Figures.
The curriculum is made up of eight lesson plans that contextualize the contributions of Hidden Figures‘ central characters: Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn.
From the Cold War to segregation and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the curriculum uses Hidden Figures to explore everything from American history to math and science.
“Grounded in the empowerment of women in historical and contemporary STEM leadership, Journeys in Film’s Hidden Figures curriculum guide highlights the persistence of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson to achieve their goals despite the discriminatory biases of colleagues and community members and rise as leaders in the fields of mathematics and engineering. Their lives model vital lessons in confidence, structural equity and academic excellence that apply to all students to take flight with today,” a synopsis for the curriculum reads.
“…the first few lessons in this guide will help students understand the context in which the events of Hidden Figures occur,” the curriculum adds. “In the spirit of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn’s creative determination, Journeys in Film’s lessons trace the increasing animosity between Communist nations and the West, the pressure-filled context in which the women at Langley were working, the logistics of the U.S. space effort and the vital role served by the ‘human computers’ portrayed in the film.”
The curriculum can be downloaded here.
The curriculum should also consider including the book that inspired the movie. The author, Margot Lee Shetterly, recently won a literary award for her book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.
In September Shetterly will be honored alongside several other authors at the 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Shetterly is the recipient of the Non-Fiction award.