Materials for Teachers and Students

Students will research African American scientists who participated in Bell Labs’ Cooperative Research Fellowship Program, and those who worked at Bell Laboratories from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
College
Prep time
15-20 minutes
In-class time
70-90 minutes

Students will learn about the mobilization of African American “war workers” at Historically Black Colleges and Universities during World War II.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
10-15 minutes
In-class time
60-90 minutes

In this lesson plan, students will learn about the “West Computers” or “West Area Computers” – a group of African-American women who worked as “human computers” at NASA Langley Research Center from the 1940s onward.

Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
15-20 minutes
In-class time
90 minutes

Students will research the lives and work of some notable African American inventors and then create an invention or patent of their own.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
6-8
9-12
Prep time
15 minutes
In-class time
Two parts, 60-80 minutes each

Students will learn about the historical context of the Civil Rights Movement and how it impacted the physics community by reading two contrasting assessments of the status of African Americans in physics in the 1960s.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
10-15 minutes
In-class time
55 minutes

By examining oral histories and historical photographs, students will learn about the lives of African Americans who worked at the secret city built for the Manhattan Project in Hanford, Washington.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
10-15 minutes
In-class time
50-75 minutes

Students will learn about the role of African Americans played in the Mahanattan Project as scientists, technicians, and workers by exploring the biographies of several of these individuals.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
10-15 minutes
In-class time
60-90 minutes

Students will learn about African Americans involved in astronomy and astrophysics, from the 1700s when astronomy was used as a practical tool to the twentieth century space race, using primary and secondary documents.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
6-8
9-12
Prep time
10-15 minutes for each part
In-class time
Two parts, 45-60 minutes each

In this lesson students will learn about the life and legacy of Alan Turing, father of the modern-day computer.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
Prep time
10 min
In-class time
60 min

Students are introduced to Ben Barres: an accomplished neurobiologist, openly transgender scientist, and activist for gender equity in STEM. This lesson also allows students to explore projects investigating LGBTQ+ experiences in science, technology, and medicine careers.

Guide subjects
Grade level(s)
9-12
College
Prep time
15-20 minutes
In-class time
50 minutes - 1 hour