Black History Teaching Challenge: Celebrating African Americans in Every Subject


SPACE EXPLORATION Did you know about Mae C. Jemison, the first African-American woman to go to space? She didn’t just explore on Earth, she even went into space as an astronaut with NASA! She worked as a computer programmer and a doctor, and helped people around the world through the Peace Corps. She even conducted a medical experiment from space. Mae Jemison knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a scientist, and she worked hard to reach her goals.

When you grow up, what do you want to explore?

WEATHER SCIENCE Did you know about Rhonda Shelby, the weather anchor for KATU news? Rhonda’s job is to tell people about what the weather will be like. She has to compare different models to make a prediction, or guess, of what the weather will be. If you watch Rhonda Shelby on the news, you’ll know whether to wear a sweater or shorts!

Take a look outside. How is the weather the same as yesterday? How is it different?

MATH Did you know about Sylvia Bozeman, the mathematics professor? She taught about numbers and much more at Spelman College for many years. Sylvia Bozeman founded a program to help women learn all of the math they needed to know so that they could become scientists. She is very proud of helping other African American women to succeed through this program.

Who helps you learn how to count? What kinds of things can you count together?

ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING Did you know about Paul Revere Williams, the architect? An architect is a person who uses shapes to design buildings. Paul designed many famous buildings in Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building. He was the first African American architect to be elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He gave time and money to support young African Americans in his community.

Can you design a building using shapes?

BUSINESS Did you know about Madam CJ Walker? She was the first woman in America to earn a million dollars! Madam CJ Walker started a business by creating hair products for African Americans. She traveled far and wide to share her products, and built a successful business. Madam CJ Walker gave a lot of the money she made back to her community.

Madam CJ Walker created recipes for hair products. What recipes can you create?