Watch the trailer for the award-winning Hidden Figures movie. Katherine Johnson and her coworkers help send men to space!
The following quotes were said by Katherine Johnson about her time at NASA. What do the quotes tell you about the time she was living in? What do they tell you about her and her work? Do the quotes support what you already know about her, or do they give you more insight?
“The women did what they were told to do. They didn’t ask questions or take the task any further. I asked questions. I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.”
“Let me do it. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I’ll do it backwards and tell you when to take off.”
“Everything was so new—the whole idea of going into space was new and daring. There were no textbooks, so we had to write them.”
“When they went to the moon for the first time, everybody was concerned about them getting there—we were concerned about getting them back. If the Eagle lunar module launched at the wrong time, or with the wrong force, if it didn’t hook back up with the spacecraft, there wasn’t another one coming.”
“I liked work. I liked the stars and stories we were telling. And it was a joy to contribute to the literature that was going to be coming out. But little did I think it would do this far.”
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What do you think was Johnson’s greatest accomplishment in her career?
Have you read any other books about Katherine Johnson and the Black female computers at NASA? What did those books have in common with this one?
Why do you believe it was important to the United States to get ahead in the Space Race?