Hidden Figures

Grounded in the empowerment of women in historical and contemporary STEM leadership, the Hidden Figures curriculum guide highlights the determination of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, three Black women known as “human computers” who were employed by NASA in Langley, Virginia. These women transcended the discriminatory biases of colleagues and community members to achieve their goals and become leaders in the fields of mathematics and engineering. 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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Product Description

This is our most downloaded guide. If you are one of the teachers using it and loving it, we’d love it if you dropped us an email and let us know why this guide works so well for your students. Email: info@journeysinfilm.org.

Film runtime: 2 hour, 7 minutes

Film rating: PG. Resources best for Grades 4+ in most cases. Some curriculum materials are better for older students. The discussion guide should work with most student grades.

Common Sense Media rated this film as appropriate for ages 10+. There is also a review of the film available from Video Librarian.

Hidden Figures Curriculum Guide

Lesson 1: Bitter Rivals: The Cold War at Mid-Century (Social Studies)
Lesson 2: Sputnik and the Origins of the Space Race (Social Studies, Science)
Lesson 3: Moving to the Front of the Bus: Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement (Social Studies)
Lesson 4: The Women of ‘West Computing’: A Viewer-Response Approach (Language Arts, Social Studies)
Lesson 5: The Math of Space Travel: Orbits and Conic Sections (Geometry)
Lesson 6: Computers Come of Age (Physics, Programming)
Lesson 7: Shooting Scripts and Active Viewing (Film Literacy) – The Glossary of Film Terms linked below would be useful for this lesson. 
Lesson 8: The Women of Science (Science, History, Career Readiness)

Preview Curriculum Guide

Hidden Figures Discussion Guide

The Numbers Don’t Lie
Introduction to Hidden Figures
Exploring the Film: Hidden Figures
The Jim Crow South
‘Eyes on the Prize’: The Civil Rights Movement in the ’50s and ’60s
Woman’s Place…
The Women of West Computing
The Cold War and the Space Race
Looking at the Future: Career Choices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Additional Reading and Resources

Preview Discussion Guide

How to download your free resources:
1. Click “Add to Cart” (top of page). 2. Click cart icon and select “checkout”. 3. Download your PDF(s).
Related Resources:
Check out our article on teaching Women’s History features Hidden Figures and other complementary materials. This film is featured in a Video Librarian article about 10 Films That Celebrate Women in Science as well as an article on Teaching Historical and Current Events Through Film. An On Demand Webinar for using this film to teach across the curriculum is available from Share My Lesson.
Sustainable Development Goals
Journeys in Film supports the Sustainable Development Goals.
This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education/sdgs/material.

Red orange background. Number five upper left hand corner. Gender Equality, white, beside the number. Main image on the orange background is a symbol that combines the man symbol and woman symbol with equal marks inside the circle part of the symbol. Burgundy red with a white eight in the upper left hand corner. Text beside the 8 reads: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Central image is a bar graph with a jagged arrow above eventually pointing upward. Magenta background. 10 in the left-hand corner. Reduced Inequalities beside the number. Central image on the magenta background is a not quite complete circle with equal marks inside.



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