California Educator

June/July 2021

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mirrors produce a reflection of an object that seems to be behind the glass, concave mirrors reflect objects so they appear to be in front of the glass, producing a 3D effect. She is a role model for young Black women. She gives back to the community by speaking to students of all ages. She encourages girls to enroll in STEM classes. She recently came to the public's attention when Chance the Rapper tweeted about her. She retired in 1995 and still lives in Maryland. "She is a role model for young Black women. She encourages girls to enroll in STEM classes." Valerie Thomas is a Black woman who revolutionized tech- nology. She invented and patented the illusion transmitter, the first mechanism to create the appearance of a 3D image using concave mirrors and rays of light. Her work is what led to the 3D movies we are watching in theaters today. She worked at NASA during Jim Crow. She developed real-time computer data systems to support satellite opera- tion control centers and oversaw the creation of the Landsat program, which expanded upon the works of other NASA scientists to view Earth from space. She was overlooked in the movie Hidden Figures. She was born in Maryland in 1943. At age 8, she read The Boy's First Book on Electronics. But her parents and the all-girls school she attended did not encourage her interest in math and science. At Morgan State University she was one of two women majoring in physics. She graduated with highest honors in 1964 and went to work for NASA. She started to experiment with flat and concave mirrors and discovered that while flat 16 Feature NASA, restored by Adam Cuerden WALTER FORD W O R L D G E O G R A P H Y T E A C H E R , C H I N O H I L L S H I G H S C H O O L Association of Chino Teachers My Unsung

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