9 things from the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ that ended up in Hutchinson, Kansas
February 3, 2017
“Hidden Figures,” a film about the true story of African-American women’s integral contributions to the American space program, has been receiving rave reviews.
The film has a 93 percent rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and has received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (for Octavia Spencer) and Best Adapted Screenplay. As of Jan. 31, its worldwide box-office earnings were nearly $110 million.
The legacy of the real people depicted in “Hidden Figures” is alive and well at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, including its collection of Mercury-program artifacts. But the No. 1 influence is the Cosmosphere's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for girls.
Tracey Tomme, vice president for education, said Cosmosphere space-camp attendance is about 75 percent by white males, which mirrors the makeup of college engineering programs and STEM industries.
Tomme said girls are just as interested as boys in science and math through about third grade, but a divide grows suddenly after that. Industries want to recruit more women in STEM fields, she said, but the pipeline to get girls from elementary school to STEM careers is broken.
“We need to help fix that pipeline, and the time to do that is in fourth grade,” she said.
To that end, the Cosmosphere started offering a number of girls-only camps in 2014, and attendance by girls has increased from 211 in 2014 to 253 in 2016, a 20 percent increase. Tomme said the content of the camps – Mars Academy for sixth- and seventh-graders and Space 101 for seventh- and eighth-graders – isn’t different from the coed versions.
Read the full Hutchinson News article here.