Our girls from Woodson and Ariel elementary school had the amazing privilege to watch the movie, Hidden Figures, followed by listening to four panelists at Adler Planetarium this past Saturday. The movie, Hidden Figures, tells the story about three incredible African-American women: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson and their impact at NASA during the Space Race. Not only does it showcase their work, but it also highlights the adversities that they encountered at NASA as African-American women. Subsequently, we had a panel of African-American women in STEM: Safia Abdalla, Linda McGill Boasmond, Tammera L. Holmes, and Dr. Gayle Ratliff who shared their background, their interests, their struggles, and their accomplishments. These were a couple of inspiring phrases that they had shared during the

Believe in yourself.

Stay focused on your goal.

      Overcome obstacles and adversity.

        Be aware of the truth in constructive criticisms and grow from it.


I asked the girls what they thought of the movie, and most of them stated that it wasn’t their first time watching it, but rather it was second, third, or fourth time. Many of the girls enjoyed the movie and were inspired by the accomplishments of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. After the panel, the girls ate lunch, and explored the exhibits on the fourth floor of the Adler Planetarium. They visited the Solar System exhibit, the Planet Explorers exhibit, and the gift shop.

Overall, the girls had an amazing experience learning about our solar system, visiting other exhibits, watching or rewatching Hidden Figures, and listening to four incredible panelists sharing about their thoughts on the film and their own stories. I hope that we can continue to learn more about important historical women figures, and to be inspired by the work that is being done by women in STEM presently.

Written By; Jaclyn Carmichael

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