Encouraging today’s “Hidden Figures”

By | February 27, 2017

African American woman at computer, data stream overlay.

The film Hidden Figures has taken not only the box office by storm, but the education world as well. Studies show that female and male students actually perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests, but larger gaps exist between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds or family income. Research by U-M professor emerita Jacquelynne S. Eccles points out that “during middle childhood, children develop a sense of self-esteem and individuality, comparing themselves with their peers.” By increasing awareness of past gender and racial inequity, the movie has sparked interest in addressing the inequities that are still present today. Organizations such as the National Girls Collaborative (NGC) implements a tested, comprehensive program of change that uses collaboration to expand and strengthen STEM-related opportunities for girls and women.