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Outlier: The Story of Katherine Johnson

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Catalogue Number:  395169
Producer:  Films Media Group
Subject:  American History, Biography, Black History, Documentary, Gender Studies, History, Mathematics, Physics, Science, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2018
Running Time:  56
Closed Captions:  Yes

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In mathematical terms, an outlier is a data point that differs greatly from other observations. It is an apt description for a person too, that is outside the norms. This film is a one-hour documentary about the trajectory of an African American girl-wonder, whose mathematical genius would catapult astronauts into space. Born in 1918, Johnson graduated high school at the age of 14, college at 18, and went on to a career with NASA where she broke race and gender barriers. Johnson not only succeeded in a white, male-dominated field, she excelled. From America’s first attempt at manned space flights, to the Shuttle program, Johnson was an integral part of the mission. The documentary includes an interview with Johnson herself, as well as interviews with NASA’s chief historian, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum, and an interview with Margot Shetterly, the author of the book, Hidden Figures. Johnson’s life was one of three profiled in the Hollywood film of the same name.

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