The New Faces of STEM

Most people have heard about the 2016 book and movie adaptation Hidden Figures, which introduced the world to three African American women mathematicians working for NASA. Kathrine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson overcame discrimination and injustice to excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics.) These trailblazers paved the way for today’s African American women to come. After 5 years there are even more amazing African Americans working in STEM. 


Years after the events featured in Hidden Figures, NASA still has a consistently diverse work environment. Jeannette Epps is making a breakthrough in NASA history by being the first African American woman to work long-term on the International Space Station. She will be spending 6 months in space. She has waited her whole life to accomplish this goal. 


Epps is paving the way for many other women in the African American community as well as women in general. Today she is working and preparing for her descent to space. Epps is very passionate about showing young girls that anything is possible.

“So many young girls do need to see someone who looks like them doing things that they never thought they could do,” said Epps.


In 2020 we were introduced to the deadly COVID 19 pandemic. In 2021, the vaccine has begun to be released to the public. Many people know of Dr. Anthony Fauci, but there are many other people working on the vaccine. Dr. Kissmekia Corbett is one of the brilliant minds behind the COVID vaccine. Fauci has given a lot of credit to her for the vaccine.


“It’s important for people to see people looking like them, like themselves, who can be involved. If it’s about women, or if it’s about Blacks because it shows that you’ve got people who understand what you’ve gone through.” Said Corbett.


It’s important for people to know the story of inspirational women working on achieving their dreams. That way, young girls and women have someone to look up to and aspire to be when they are older.