“Hidden Figures” family book club and Michigan Science shuttle-crafting activity

Ferndale Library hosts youth programs on spaceflight/science history, Jan 30 & Feb 4


A great pair of programs liftoff in January at the Ferndale Library, showing kids the benefits of doing their math homework as well as the ins and outs of space-shuttle design.


On Mon., Jan 30, Ferndale School’s African American Parent Network partners with the Ferndale Area District Library to present a family book club discussion of “Hidden Figures,” the untold history of the the brilliant African American women mathematicians who helped get NASA’s space program off the ground, assuring America would win the space race. Then on Sat., Feb 4, the Michigan Science Center visits the library for “Let It Glide,” a presentation that demonstrates the physics of the space shuttles, leading into craft activity where kids can build their own shuttle.


Author Margot Lee Shetterly writes about the keen calculating prowess of African American women engineers who were the unsung heroes playing an integral role in getting celebrated astronauts John Glenn up into space for his famous orbiting flight. The highly-anticipated movie adaptation of “Hidden Figures,” in theatres this month, led to a recent re-release of Shetterly’s book in a Young Readers format.


picture1jjjOn Monday, January 30th at 6:00 pm, the library will be hosting a family-style conversation to discuss the book; parents can pick up copies of both versions of the book at the library’s circulation desk, throughout January. This is an excellent opportunity to inspire a budding math whiz, as well as augment the benefits of giving every talent, every mind, a chance to contribute; kids read about these talented women, known as “human computers,” using worn lead pencils, slide rules and rudimentary adding machines to calculate the specifications needed to eventually launch rocket ships.


And whenever the Michigan Science Center visits the library, every kid has a blast! Following a few days after the “Hidden Figures” book club, FADL’s Youth Librarians invite young readers and science lovers to continue the adventure of learning about space flight and aeronautics with “Let It Glide.” a hands-on program where participants grades 4 and up will get to build their own “space shuttle”, as well as collect and analyze their own data!

Registration for “Let It Glide” begins Monday, January 9th.

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