Throughout history, the world has been shaped by the brilliant minds of individuals who dedicated their lives to pursuing knowledge, breaking barriers, and defying societal expectations. Black scientists, both men and women, have played a pivotal role in science, contributing significantly to various fields and inspiring generations. Below, find fantastic projects for some of the most influential and groundbreaking figures in science and STEM!
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month, observed every February, is a time dedicated to recognizing, celebrating, and honoring the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history.
Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight the stories of resilience, courage, and excellence that have shaped the Black community and the fabric of the entire nation.
For kids, Black History Month serves as a critical educational moment. It’s a time when schools, communities, and families come together to explore African Americans’ rich history and cultural heritage. It’s a chance to introduce young minds to influential figures who have impacted various fields, including science, art, literature, and civil rights.
It’s about fostering a sense of pride and identity, instilling values of equality and justice, and encouraging a diverse and inclusive perspective on history.
Famous Black Scientists Projects
Below, you’ll find links to fantastic projects for each scientist. Each one has a free printable! If you love learning about new scientists, engineers, and inventors, look through our collection of famous scientists.
Also, make sure to look through our Women in STEM projects!
Matthew Henson: The Arctic Explorer
Matthew Henson’s daring journey to the North Pole is a testament to his courage and skill and a lesson for kids about the importance of perseverance and determination in facing challenges.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: The Astrophysicist and Science Communicator
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ability to make complex scientific concepts understandable for all audiences can inspire kids to pursue their curiosity about the universe and foster a love for learning.
Katherine Johnson: The Hidden Figure of NASA
Katherine Johnson’s story introduces kids to breaking barriers and challenges stereotypes, emphasizing the importance of equality and inclusion in the pursuit of knowledge.
Evelyn Granville: The Mathematician and Computer Scientist
Evelyn Granville’s contributions to mathematics and computing can spark an interest in STEM subjects among kids, encouraging them to explore the exciting world of technology and problem-solving.
Mae Jemison: The First African American Woman in Space
Mae Jemison’s historic journey to space serves as a beacon of inspiration for young girls, encouraging them to dream big and pursue careers in fields traditionally dominated by men.
Mary Jackson: The Aerospace Engineer
Mary Jackson’s trailblazing work in aerospace engineering teaches kids the importance of education and determination in overcoming obstacles and making significant contributions to scientific advancements.
Printable Martin Luther King Jr Activity
This simple Martin Luther King Jr activity is designed to celebrate his legacy creatively and interactively. The zine includes coloring pages and simplified information about Dr. King’s life, making it perfect for young learners.
10 Famous Black Scientists to Research
There are numerous accomplished Black scientists, both past and present, whose contributions have significantly impacted various scientific fields. Here are a few more notable figures for kids to learn about:
Look through the list and see if one of these famous people resonates with your kid. Go ahead and do some research!
- George Washington Carver (1864–1943):
- He is known for his work in agriculture and botany.
- Discovered multiple uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans.
- Advocated for sustainable farming practices.
- Percy Lavon Julian (1899–1975):
- A chemist known for his contributions to synthesizing medicinal drugs from plants.
- Pioneered the synthesis of cortisone, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Charles Drew (1904–1950):
- A physician and medical researcher who made key discoveries in blood transfusion.
- Established the first large-scale blood bank during World War II.
- Benjamin Banneker (1731–1806):
- An African American mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor.
- Played a crucial role in the surveying of Washington, D.C., and predicted solar and lunar eclipses.
- Ernest Everett Just (1883–1941):
- A pioneering biologist and zoologist.
- Studied marine life and made significant contributions to our understanding of cell biology.
- Otis Boykin (1920–1982):
- An inventor and engineer known for his work on electronic control devices.
- Invented an improved electrical resistor used in a variety of electronic devices.
- Garrett Morgan (1877–1963): ⭐️ Included in Black History Project Pack
- An inventor and community leader.
- Invented the three-position traffic signal and a smoke hood, a precursor to the modern gas mask.
- Shirley Ann Jackson (1946–present):
- A theoretical physicist and the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.
- Held leadership positions in academia and served as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair.
- James West (1931–present):
- An inventor and acoustician.
- Co-invented the electret microphone, a widely used technology in modern microphones and hearing aids.
- Aprille Ericsson-Jackson (1963–present):
- An aerospace engineer at NASA.
- Contributed to the development of technology for spacecraft and satellites.
These scientists have made lasting contributions to various scientific disciplines, and their stories can inspire kids to explore their own interests in science and pursue careers in STEM fields.
Printable Black History Month Project Pack
Explore 10 famous black men and women who have helped shape the history of our country through their words and actions in science, literature, and art.
You’ll find secret codes, coloring projects, engineering projects, games, and more! This pack can be used for various ages, including 5-10. Whether you read it aloud to a class or allow the kids to read the information independently is up to you!
- Maya Angelou
- Ruby Bridges
- Mae Jemison
- Barack Obama
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Garret Morgan
- Mary Jackson
- Elijah McCoy
- Mavis Pusey Project Pack
- Matthew Henson Project Pack
Neil deGrasse Tyson: By Norwegian University of Science and Technology – Norwegian University of Science and Technology Flickr account
Katherine Johnson: By Adam Cuerden – http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/1966-l-06717.jpeg, Public Domain