We are completely in love with anything to do with aviation or space. One of Doll Face's favorite places to visit is the Aerospace Museum of California, so after a little research, I discovered that the first African American Woman in space was Dr. Mae Jemison. Dr. Mae Jemison was born October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama. She was the youngest of three children. Her family moved to Chicago, Illinois, when she was three years old. Even as a small child, Dr. Jemison knew that she wanted to be a scientist and never let anyone persuade her from her dreams. Dr. Jemison graduated high school at the age of 16 and went on to attend Stanford. She graduated from Stanford in 1977 with a B.S in chemical engineering and a B.A in African and Afro-American studies. While studying at Stanford, she encountered racist attitudes from professors, but never let this get in her way.
She went on to get her Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell Medical College in 1981. After finishing medical school, Dr. Jemison joined the Peace Corps. She served as a Peace Corps Medical Officer for 2 years. In 1987, Dr. Jemison was accepted into the NASA program, after completing her second application for the program.
At NASA, Dr. Jemison helped with launch support acivities until her space mission on September 12, 1992. Her mission lasted 8 days. She resigned from NASA in March of 1993. After NASA, Dr. Jemison founded her own company. She was the only real astronaut to appear on an episode of Star Trek. She played the part of Lietenant Palmer in the episode "Second Chances" on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
To this day, Dr. Jemison continues to advocate for minority students and getting them involved in the sciences.
Bringing the lesson home:
I wanted to do something fun and hands on for this lesson. So I decided to create a construction paper scene of Dr. Jemison in space.
What you need to make this craft:
1 Brown construction paper sheet
1 Orange construction paper sheet
1 White construction paper sheet
1 Blue construction paper sheet
1 green construction paper sheet
Steps to make your construction paper scene:
1. Cut out a brown body. I folded the brown constuction paper in half and free handed the body. It is easier to cut it out when folded in half. That way you get an even body.
2. Cut out a half blue circle. This will be used as the Earth.
3. Cut out land out of the green construction paper. This was done free hand and as you can see it is not accurate but you get the idea that it is land. I cut out two pieces
4. Cut out the space suit. I used orange for this since it is the same color that Dr. Jemison has in the above picture. The orange stands out nicely with the black background. I used the brown body as a guide.
5. Cut out a space helmet from the white construction paper. I just cut out a circle a little bigger than the head of the brown body. I then folded the circle and cut out the middle so it looks like a helmet.
6. Using the same white construction paper, cut out the space shuttle. I free handed the space shuttle from memory. If you wanted to get more accurate. you could probably find a coloring sheet online and just cut out the space shuttle.
7. Glue all the pieces together as seen below
8. Add details with your marker. I added United States to the shuttle. A black nose and windows the the space shuttle too. I also gave our little astronaut a face and wrote NASA on her space suit.
I made a second set for Doll Face to do. She has gotten really good at following directions, so she did more of the gluing part on her own.
As you can see, she was really proud of her finished product.
This craft, was very easy to do. It also gave us time to talk about the things that Dr. Jemison accomplished despite being told that she could not. This theme, of following your dreams despite the opposition you may face, is something that I want to drill into Doll Face's memory. I often wonder if she is really understanding the lessons I am teaching her. If she is old enough to truly understand. But today, we had a moment of clarity.
"She flew in space because she wanted to. People said she couldn't, but she did Mommy."
What a great way to end a lesson.
You can achieve anything you put your mind to. I have read that Dr. Jemison is hesitant to call herself a role model. However it is that you feel, Dr. Jemison, I am here to tell you that you inspire us all.