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Image / Editorial

Film ‘Hidden Figures’ Is Getting More Girls Into Maths & Science


by Jennifer McShane
01st Feb 2017

It’s no secret that we need more deadly women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industry. There’s a shortage, but good news on the horizon; since the start of Donald Trump’s (disastrous) presidency, thousands of female scientists have taken action. A group, known as?500 Women Scientists, was created in response to Trump and his anti-science, anti-women comments. Its pledge vows to protect the scientific enterprise from his attacks as well as ?build a more inclusive society and scientific enterprise.? As of recently, over 14,000 women signed up to support the group’s pledge – a message of such empowerment, it’s bound to encourage more women to enter the field in a positive way.

To add to this, the award-winning?film Hidden Figures – based on three three brilliant female mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson who worked as ?human computers? in the all-black ?West Computing? group of NASA’s Langley research lab in Virginia, in the late 1950s and €60s – is already aiding future generations of women scientists, according to The Cut.

“We’re constantly doing panels for STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Mathematics) all over. I’m actually working on a project, an initiative called Image of STEM, that was started (by Dr Knatokie Ford, former senior White House policy advisor to the science and tech division) at the White House during the last administration, the Obama administration,? explained?Aldis Hodge, who plays mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson’s husband Levi in the movie.

Not only that, various groups are raising money to bring as many girls to see the film as possible – including its star?Octavia Spencer. She bought an entire?Hidden Figures?screening so those that couldn’t afford to see it would be able to bring their daughters.

“We did an event with Megan Chernin called Girls Build LA where we screened the film for 10,000 girls. It’s taken a life of its own, and a lot of people are supporting it. I love the fact that a lot of these girls are now getting support for their interest. It’s fantastic. I hope that it just keeps going.”

That’s what we need to see: more dedication to the STEM cause and as many brilliant females getting as involved as possible.

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