The recent success of the movie Hidden Figures has spurred renewed interest in African-Americans actively involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations. During Black History Month, Entelechy Education would like to recognize some notable African-American leaders. These are but a few of the many African-Americans who have achieved greatness in their STEM-related field.
Sylvester James Gates, Ph.D. is the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at the University of Maryland and in the country. He is currently conducting research into the mysteries of superstring theory, supersymmetry, supergravity and other areas of physics. Superstring theory is an attempt to explain all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature in one theory by showing them as vibrations of small, very symmetric strings – like a tiny guitar. On February 1, 2013, Gates was a recipient of the National Medal of Science.
Aprille Ericsson, Phd.D. is a trailblazer in the field of aerospace engineering. She was the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and is the first African American female at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to hold a Ph.D. in Engineering. Ericsson has won many awards, including the 1997 "Women in Science and Engineering" award for the best female engineer in the federal government, and she is currently the instrument manager for a proposed mission to bring dust from the Martian lower atmosphere back to Earth.
Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D. is a scientist who is passionate about getting kids of all ages excited about science. She is the co-author of Newton's Football (Random House); and author of Save Our Science (TED Books), which is based on her talks about the importance of STEM education. This noted materials scientist is helping to revolutionize the way alloys are used in everything from cell phones to life-saving medical devices through her groundbreaking research in 'smart' metals and solders.
Herman White, Ph.D. smashes atoms for a living. Every day, he researches about quarks, protons, and electrons at the renowned Fermi National Laboratory. Fermilab is the highest energy particle accelerator in the world where White has been a senior scientist. At Fermilab he has collaborated on numerous high-energy particle physics experiments in addition to the design of high-energy particle beam and detector systems.
Linda Cureton was the former Chief Information Officer at NASA. She was the space agency's go-to person on a wide range of challenges related to Information Technology in the space age, from information storage to social media and cyber security. Before her retirement in 2013, she was a strong advocate for the practical application of technology, and served as a member of the Government Information Technology Investment Council, the American Council for Technology, and Women in Technology.
Entelechy Education is proud to offer a trio of children’s books that are neither gender-specific nor culturally defining so children of every gender and culture can identify with the endearing characters called The EnteleTrons®.
Author: Renee Heiss