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2020 WELD Charleston Leadership Series

Updated: May 19, 2020

Outlier: The Story of Katherine Johnson

Join the WELD Charleston Chapter as we welcome Diana Sole, President, MotionMasters, in the showing of Katherine Johnson’s Documentary. In mathematical terms, an outlier is a data point that differs greatly from other observations. It’s an apt description for a person too, that is outside the norms. Outlier: the story of Katherine Johnson is a one-hour documentary about the trajectory of an African American girl-wonder, whose mathematical genius would catapult astronauts into space.

Born in 1918, Johnson graduated high school at the age of 14, college at 18, and went on to a career with NASA where she broke race and gender barriers. Diana Sole | President MotionMasters

Hired by NASA in 1953 for her mathematical prowess, Johnson was responsible for plotting the trajectories for launches and reentries. Some of her notable calculations include the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space in 1959. Johnson also verified computer space division calculations for John Glenn’s 1962 flight. She was the first woman in NASA’s to author a technical report – and in all co-authored 21 technical papers. In 2015 President Barack Obama presented Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Johnson not only succeeded in a white, male-dominated field, she excelled. From America’s first attempt at manned space flights, to the Shuttle program, Johnson was an integral part of the mission. The documentary includes an interview with Johnson herself, as well as interviews with NASA’s chief historian, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum, and an interview with Margot Shetterly, the author of the book, “Hidden Figures”. Johnson’s life was one of three profiled in the Hollywood film of the same name.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Girl Scouts of Black Diamond


11:30am – 12:00pm


12:00pm – 1:30pm

Event Host

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