‘Hidden Figures’ Curriculum Inspires Students To Strive For “Academic Excellence”

Hidden Figures not only made history on the silver screen, but the box office smash plans to alter the course of history yet again, this time in the classroom.

According to Okayplayer, the Theodore Melfi-directed movie sparked Journeys In Film to create a curriculum based on the reel’s teachable moments. “To make integration of this film into the curriculum more feasible, Journeys in Film has prepared eight comprehensive, standards-aligned lesson plans for secondary students,” the syllabus reads. “The lessons are interdisciplinary; they can be used independently, or teachers may opt for a team approach that will give students multiple lenses through which to consider the relevant issues, historical and contemporary, that are raised by the film.”

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The curriculum takes its cues from the film’s real life characters: Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn and Katherine Johnson. The African-American women led NASA’s space exploration efforts in the early ’60s, specifically the successful missions of Apollo 11 and Apollo 13.

“Grounded in the empowerment of women in historical and contemporary STEM leadership, Journeys in Film’s HIDDEN FIGURES curriculum guide highlights the persistence of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson to achieve their goals despite the discriminatory biases of colleagues and community members and rise as leaders in the fields of mathematics and engineering,” the syllabus continues. “Their lives model vital lessons in confidence, structural equity and academic excellence that apply to all students to take flight with today.”

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As of April 2017, the Oscar-nominated film grossed nearly $230 million in global sales. It also won the coveted Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.