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Scientists, engineers and mathematicians from the Black and African American Community to celebrate this Juneteenth

6 STEM Figures to Honor this Juneteenth

As we celebrate Juneteenth, let's take a moment to honor some of the most influential figures in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). These individuals broke barriers and made significant contributions to their respective fields. Their endeavors continue to inspire and motivate many.

Find a Google Slides of all of our 2023 STEM Heroes: Juneteenth edition that you can make a copy of or download as a PowerPoint for class, home, school, or lab!

Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019)

Dr. Bath was an accomplished ophthalmologist and humanitarian. Her most significant contribution to the medical field was her invention of the Laserphaco Probe for cataract surgery. This invention revolutionized the way cataract surgeries are performed and has greatly improved the vision of countless individuals worldwide. In addition to her revolutionary invention, she was the first female member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, a testament to her pioneering spirit in a male-dominated field.

Dr. Mark E. Dean (1956)

Dr. Dean, a computer scientist, and engineer, made remarkable strides in the tech industry. He invented the ISA-Bus, or Industry Standard Architecture Bus, an interface that has been instrumental in the development of the personal computer. This enabled multiple devices to communicate with the computer's central processing unit (CPU), paving the way for the development of faster and more efficient personal computers that we commonly use today. Additionally, Dr. Dean was the first African American to be named an IBM Fellow, further cementing his legacy in the tech industry.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson (1946)

Dr. Jackson, a physicist and pioneer, made her mark in the field of Theoretical Physics. She is the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her groundbreaking research has had a significant impact on the field of physics, inspiring countless others to break barriers and pursue their passions.

Dr. Lonnie Johnson (1949)

Dr. Johnson, an aerospace engineer, and entrepreneur, is known for his invention of the Super Soaker, a popular toy that brings joy to children worldwide. More than just a toy inventor, Dr. Johnson holds more than 100 patents and has made significant contributions to the field of Thermodynamics. His innovative spirit has led to various technological advancements, proving that creativity and scientific inquiry can go hand in hand.

Dr. Mae C. Jemison (1956)

Dr. Jemison, an engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut, made history as the first African-American woman to travel to space. She embarked on her historic journey aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Her achievements have broken barriers for women and people of color in the field of space exploration, proving that the sky is not the limit.

Dr. Percy Lavon Julian (1899-1975)

Dr. Julian, a research chemist, and pioneer, is known for his work in synthesizing medicinal compounds from abundant plant sources. This has allowed for the affordable mass production of these compounds, making them accessible to a larger population. His work has had a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry, showing how science can be used to improve the quality of life for many.

These heroes remind us of the importance of perseverance, innovation, and breaking down barriers. As we celebrate Juneteenth, let's also celebrate the contributions of these remarkable individuals to the STEM fields. Their legacies continue to inspire and motivate future generations to strive for greatness.

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