Katherine Johnson

By the age of 13, this STEM innovator was attending the high school on the campus of West Virginia State College. When the school decided to integrate its graduate schools in 1939, Katherine and two others were selected to be the first black students offered spots at West Virginia University. She ended up working in NASA’s (then NACA) Flight Research Division, and cleared electronic calculations that were used for the orbital mission of astronaut John Glenn, which helped turn the corner in the space competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in space. Her calculations also helped Apollo 11 land on the moon later, in 1969. She passed away in February of 2020 at the age of 101. Inspiration:
“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology.”

Katherine Johnson