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Could there be ‘Hidden Figures’ at Vine Middle School?

Special showing of acclaimed movie is part of ORAU’s ongoing commitment to encourage students to pursue STEM careers

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Could there be “hidden figures” among the students at Vine Middle Magnet School in Knoxville?

Helping students at the school discover a love for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is the goal behind a Monday, May 8 special showing of Hidden Figures, the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated movie illustrating the important role female African-American mathematicians played in the early NASA space program. The movie will be followed by presentations from a group of minority scientists and researchers.

ORAU has licensed rights to the movie for this one-time educational viewing event. Vine Middle Magnet School has a minority student population in excess of 80 percent.

Hidden Figures is unique in that it allows us to blend a popular feature film with our ongoing STEM efforts,” said Andy Page, President of ORAU. “We are honored to partner with Vine Middle Magnet School in this innovative manner as we endeavor to further STEM education in our region and for our customers.”

Cindy White, principal at Vine, hopes her students will find inspiration in the true story of mathematicians Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn.

“My hope is that this opportunity will have a positive impact in helping our kids to see the possibilities that exist through STEM education,” she said. “I am so appreciative of ORAU for their desire to show this movie to our entire student body.”

Following the movie, several minority scientists and researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ORAU and elsewhere will talk to Vine students after the film about their personal backgrounds, scientific areas of expertise, and the experiences and individuals who inspired them to pursue STEM careers. The presentations will be recorded so interested students and others can view them online after the event.

About ORAU

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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