African American Contributions to Aviation and Spaceflight

May 17, 2017 | 11:00am - 11:30am
Presented Online

African Americans have made contributions to aviation since its inception. They shared the world’s widespread enthusiasm for flying, but found themselves routinely denied access to training as pilots and mechanics. Beginning in the 1920s, a small number of determined black air enthusiasts challenged racial discrimination, and with great effort — and against formidable odds — they realized their dream to fly. “Brave” Bessie Coleman had to learn another language and travel across the ocean to earn her pilot’s license. The Tuskegee Airmen battled against discrimination to serve in World War II. NASA engineer Kobie Boykins helped design every rover that has gone to Mars. This episode of STEM in 30, coming to you live from the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, will explore the integral part African Americans have played in shaping America’s aerospace industry.

This program is made possible through the generous support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 


Additional Teacher Resources

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-ETS1-1 Engineering Design
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2 Engineering Design
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ETS1-3 Engineering Design
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

MS-ETS1-4 Engineering Design
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.