Katherine Johnson

✨SKWOODLE WOMAN✨ Katherine Johnson is an extraordinary woman who made invaluable contributions to America’s history during her time working as a mathematician at NASA. In the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, NASA hired women to do the complex mathematical work that computers do today as women were considered “detail-oriented” and “accurate”. ⠀⁠
For more than 30 years Katherine Johnson worked as a “human computer”, playing an unseen but pivotal role in America’s space missions. People trusted her with their lives – John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, said “Call her, and if she says the computer’s right, I’ll take it.” He wanted Katherine to double-check the computer’s calculations on the reentry of his spacecraft because he preferred to rely on her instead of a machine. That she was an African American woman in an almost all-male and white workforce made her career even more remarkable. ⠀⁠
In 2015, at age 97, Katherine Johnson added another extraordinary achievement to her long list: President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. “In her 33 years at NASA, Katherine was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science, and reach for the stars,” – President Obama. ⠀⁠
You can see her story in the film “Hidden Figures” or read about it in the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly. #skwoodlewomen