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Hidden Figures Book Club, Fall 2017

Hidden Figures: Read. Watch. Discuss.

Created and shared by Jacqui Jesse, Ed.D., Residential Faculty - Mathematics, Mesa Community College

Instructors are welcome to use and adapt this lesson for their own courses. Likewise, Dr. Jesse welcomes your feedback. You may contact her here.

Overview

In this project, you will learn about cultural dynamics in the field of mathematics and other related fields. You will create and conduct a survey related to cultural dynamics in mathematics and/or related fields and present the results of your survey using word descriptions, set notation, and a Venn diagram (or multiple Venn diagrams).

Instructions

  1. Review the MCC library's research guide on Hidden Figures.

  2. Consider joining the MCC’s book club to read the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly.

  3. Consider attending afree public screening of the movie Hidden Figures at one of MCC’s campuses:

    • Wednesday, November 15th at 2:00 pm in S140 (Red Mountain campus)

    • Thursday, November 16th at 2:30 pm in LB300 (Southern and Dobson campus)

  4. Read about culture, race, ethnicity, and minority groups in the following sections of the ebook Introduction to Sociology by OpenStax:

  5. Read about the demographics and cultural dynamics of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields:

  6. Read this opinion piece by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the movie Hidden Figures from Forbes.com.

  7. If necessary, conduct further research to inform the development of a survey you can conduct related to cultural dynamics of STEM fields.

  8. Develop a survey on cultural dynamics of STEM fields.

  9. Gather responses to your survey from at least 50 people.

  10. Create a Venn diagram or multiple Venn diagrams to illustrate the results of your survey. Make sure that each subset is clearly labeled on your Venn diagram(s) using single capital letters and include a key for your diagram(s).

  11. Discuss the results of your survey using word descriptions of various sets of survey respondents. Your descriptions should be written for an audience that has no familiarity with set theory or set notation.

  12. Write a corresponding mathematical statement using the set notation learned in this module for each word description from step 11.

  13. Submit your survey results, Venn diagram(s), word descriptions, and set notation descriptions for evaluation. Your results will be evaluated using the rubric below.

Submission Instructions

You may submit your project as an uploaded file (such as a pdf, docx, or pptx file) or as a website url (such as a link to a google doc, google slide, or website you create to present your results).

Created and shared by Jacqui Jesse, Ed.D., Residential Faculty - Mathematics, Mesa Community College

After completing the Lesson 1: Set Theory Project, in this reflection assignment students will create and conduct a survey related to the cultural dynamics of STEM fields. Instructors are welcome to use and adapt this lesson for their own courses. Likewise, Dr. Jesse welcomes your feedback. You may contact her here.


Review and reflect upon the readings, movie, and work you completed in the Set Theory Project:

Introduction to Culture in Introduction to Sociology

What is Culture? in Introduction to Sociology

Elements of Culture in Introduction to Sociology

Racial, Ethnic, and Minority Groups in Introduction to Sociology

Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination in Introduction to Sociology

Women and Minorities in the Science and Engineering Workforce Data from the Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 Report by the National Science Foundation's National Science Board

Blog post by Dr. Kenneth Gibbs, Jr. on the importance of diversity in STEM fields from Scientific American

Solving the Diversity Dilemma: Changing the Face of the STEM Workforce from changetheequation.org

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures from 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Opinion piece by Dr. Marshall Shepherd on the movie Hidden Figure from Forbes.com

Based on the knowledge gained during the Set Theory Project and on your own experiences, reflect upon the following questions and post your reflection for your classmates to read.

  • How and to what extent do culture and experience impact a person’s world view and behavior (in general and with respect to participation in STEM fields)?

  • What experiences have you had that impact your world view and/or behavior with respect to participation in STEM fields?

  • How and to what extent do historical events, perspectives, and/or cultures impact societies, human interaction, and human expression (in general and with respect to participation in STEM fields)?

  • What experiences have you had that impact your ability and desire to participate in STEM classes, degree programs, and/or careers?

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