Celebrating Black History Month with STEM Leaders!

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February is #BlackHistoryMonth and we're celebrating thought-leaders from all STEM fields! Here, we’re highlighting some of the advances made in science, technology, engineering, and math thanks to Black & African American pioneers!


Percy Lavon Julian was the first African American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences & his work with steroids led to treatments for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis & glaucoma. He also attended DePauw University right here in Indiana!

Percy Lavon Julian was the first African American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences & his work with steroids led to treatments for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis & glaucoma. He also attended DePauw University right here in Indiana!

Valerie Thomas, inventor of 3D television, patented the Illusion Transmitter that extends television & makes images look three dimensional. She also worked for NASA overseeing the Landsat team that built the first satellite to send images from space!

Valerie Thomas, inventor of 3D television, patented the Illusion Transmitter that extends television & makes images look three dimensional. She also worked for NASA overseeing the Landsat team that built the first satellite to send images from space!

Vivien Thomas was an African American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat cyanotic heart disease in the 1940s without any education past high school.

Vivien Thomas was an African American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat cyanotic heart disease in the 1940s without any education past high school.

Katherine Johnson's 35 year career as a NASA mathematician led to the success of U.S. manned spaceflights & her portrayal in the movie Hidden Figures! She was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015.

Katherine Johnson's 35 year career as a NASA mathematician led to the success of U.S. manned spaceflights & her portrayal in the movie Hidden Figures! She was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015.

Mark Dean is the co-creator of the IBM personal computer released in 1981 & contributed to the development of the color PC monitor. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997.

Mark Dean is the co-creator of the IBM personal computer released in 1981 & contributed to the development of the color PC monitor. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997.

Gladys West is a mathematician best known for helping develop the Global Positioning System & her work to mathematically model the shape of the Earth. West was inducted into the U.S. Air Force Hall of Fame in 2018.

Gladys West is a mathematician best known for helping develop the Global Positioning System & her work to mathematically model the shape of the Earth. West was inducted into the U.S. Air Force Hall of Fame in 2018.

Jerry Lawson is an electronic engineer best known for his time at the SiliconValley semiconductor firm Fairchild, where he helped create the world's first computerized cartridge-based video game system.

Jerry Lawson is an electronic engineer best known for his time at the SiliconValley semiconductor firm Fairchild, where he helped create the world's first computerized cartridge-based video game system.

Born into slavery, George Washington Carver went on to become an agricultural scientist, teaching at Tuskegee University for 47 years. He is especially well known for inventing over 300 uses for peanuts (although he did not invent peanut butter!).

Born into slavery, George Washington Carver went on to become an agricultural scientist, teaching at Tuskegee University for 47 years. He is especially well known for inventing over 300 uses for peanuts (although he did not invent peanut butter!).

Marie Maynard Daly was biochemist and the first African American woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Marie Maynard Daly was biochemist and the first African American woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Lonnie Johnson is a NASA engineer best known as the inventor of the Super Soaker!

Lonnie Johnson is a NASA engineer best known as the inventor of the Super Soaker!

The 1st African American woman in space, Mae Jemison attended med school, became a physician & served in the Peace Corps before becoming a NASA astronaut. She also holds 9 honorary doctorates in science, engineering, and the humanities.

The 1st African American woman in space, Mae Jemison attended med school, became a physician & served in the Peace Corps before becoming a NASA astronaut. She also holds 9 honorary doctorates in science, engineering, and the humanities.

Ernest Everett Just was a pioneering African American biologist who's primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.

Ernest Everett Just was a pioneering African American biologist who's primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.

Jane Cooke Wright was a pioneering cancer researcher & surgeon, most known for her contributions to chemotherapy. Wright pioneered the use of drugs to treat breast cancer & skin cancer and co-founded the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Jane Cooke Wright was a pioneering cancer researcher & surgeon, most known for her contributions to chemotherapy. Wright pioneered the use of drugs to treat breast cancer & skin cancer and co-founded the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Physicist George Carruthers invented the ultraviolet camera for NASA's launch of Apollo 16 & his invention recorded the first observation of molecular hydrogen in outer space. Not surprisingly, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003.

Physicist George Carruthers invented the ultraviolet camera for NASA's launch of Apollo 16 & his invention recorded the first observation of molecular hydrogen in outer space. Not surprisingly, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003.

Shirley Ann Jackson is the first African American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT and the second African American woman in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in physics. She is currently the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Shirley Ann Jackson is the first African American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT and the second African American woman in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in physics. She is currently the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Edward Alexander Bouchet was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from any American university, completing his dissertation in physics at Yale in 1876.

Edward Alexander Bouchet was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from any American university, completing his dissertation in physics at Yale in 1876.