School Book Discussion

In celebration of Grier's One School, One Story selection, students and teachers gathered together in the library during Extra Help period on Friday, January 19th to discuss the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and the film the book inspired. Attendees entered a contest for door prizes that included two autographed copies of the book, a t-shirt, space-themed bookmarks, space-themed jewelry, and a NASA image coloring book. While most readers found the book dense and challenging to read, they found the story fascinating and acknowledged the fortitude required of the hidden figures in what they accomplished, both intellectually and socially, despite the barriers to their gender and race.
Our One Story, One School experience isn't quite over. Students can create Galileoscopes on February 2nd and 16th during Extra Help and can attend a brief talk given by Penn State Astrophysist Angie Wolf on February 8th. It's all happening in the Library. We'll be giving away more prizes, too!

About the Program:

The reading program One School, One Story challenges anybody and everybody that is part of the Grier community to read the same book and to participate in activities and discussions throughout the year. For the 2017-2018 School Year, the selected title is Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. 

Hidden Figures is the phenomenal true story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. From the publisher:

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.

Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

Learn More:

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By R. Woolfrey | Photo credits: R. Woolfrey and A. Tarpey
©2017  Grier School. All Rights Reserved

Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308 Tyrone, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177