This year which Black History Month people will you be teaching your students about? For me, I try to incorporate in Black History Month people that my students might not know. This helps broaden their perspectives. In addition, I want to incorporate people from STEM fields, especially women. I have found that the follow four women in particular stand out for their accomplishments in Mathematics.
I hope you can find out a bit about each of these 7 people and decide to incorporate their legacy and words into your math classroom. I walk you through how I incorporate these inspiring mathematicians into my math classroom in this blog post.
Black History Month People in Math:
One of the first people I’m going to introduce my students to is Christine Darden, a mathematician and engineer. Christine Darden worked at NASA as a computer engineer with a A passion to fight for equal rights. Your students will be excited to read about her contributions to things like the sonic boom team and designing aircraft. Christine Darden is a Black History Month leader your students need to know. Mini books are available here.
Another Black History Month leader I’ll be introducing to my student is Raye Montague. Montague joined the Navy in 1956 and made a career out of Designing submarines and ships for the Navy. her award-winning career and Legacy is one all children should know.
These quote reflection slides are available on my Teachers Pay Teachers shop here.
If you’d like to know more about how I use quotes in my classroom read about it here.
Euphemia Haynes was the first African American to earn her PhD in mathematics. Her early accomplishments in the math field are paramount in trail blazing for women who came after her. Be sure your students know about Euphemia Haynes during Black History Month.
Mary Jackson worked as a mathematician and engineer at NASA. Mary had a passion for social justice through mentoring and outreach to the children in her community. It is essential your students know Mary Jackson as a Black History Month leader to learn from.
As a mathematician and engineer Lonnie Johnson is best known for his invention of the Super Soaker water gun. However, his contributions started in the United States Air Force with work on space craft and air craft. Lonnie Johnson was fond of tinkering and persevering to solve complex problems. Biographies for the 3 male mathematicians can be found in 1 page articles here & mini books here.
John Urschel is a shining example of how one’s identity is comprised of many elements. Among other things, Urschel is both a NFL football player and a mathematician. John Urshcel played for the NFL for 3 seasons, only to retire to go back to school to get his doctorate degree in mathematics. He’s definitely my favorite mathematician to share with my students!!
Grab this one page biography of John Urschel here. It comes with a lesson plan & graphic organizers for close reading.
David Blackwell is an African American statistician. Blackwell’s love for math started in high school and he graduated from college with three degrees by the time he was 22 years old. David Blackwell is a statistician- meaning he gathers data, summarizes it and then decided what it means. This helps us with understanding lots of different things in the world like– how many people watch a tv show on Netflix or which toys will be the best sellers for the holiday season.
The quote posters can be found here.
When Considering Black History People to teach…
I hope you consider adding Black Women Mathematicians to your plans. These women in the STEM fields bring a perspective to our children that demonstrate ways to persevere to meet challenging goals.
Even more ideas for Celebrating Black History Month
This blog post gives 5 great ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Additionally, here are 3 ways I love to use quotes in my classroom to teach Black History.