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Published: 4 October 2020

Black History Month takes place every year in October and has been celebrated in the United Kingdom for over 30 years. It is a celebration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK.

In the lead up to Black History Month 2020 we have been looking at the resources available for primary schools to help them celebrate and learn about the achievements of Black physicists, and in turn, to inspire the aspirations of all pupils.

Download our new research cards on six inspirational Black physicists.

“There are many people to celebrate and there are some resources out there, but the stories of Black physicists are often hidden,” explains Amanda Poole, Resource Development Lead for the Trust. “It can be hard for teachers to gather and present the information in a format that is accessible to primary and KS3 children. As a starting point, we have created a set of research cards for use in the classroom that feature some inspirational Black physicists. ”

The research cards give an insight into the life and work of Willie Hobbs Moore, Claudia Alexander, Arthur Walker, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Neil deGrasse Tyson and William Kamkwamba. The cards can be used to support research for writing activities such as newspaper reports or biographies or could provide inspiration for poster making or presentations.

“We are releasing these research cards now to celebrate Black History Month,” adds Clare Harvey, Chief Executive of The Ogden Trust. “But we encourage you to use them in your classroom all year round to inspire your pupils with these all too often hidden stories of achievement that deserve to be heard and showcased.”

For me, black history is part of the history of the world, and I feel it is essential to honour the contributions of scientists from every background - this will give the next generation a balanced view of the world and remove some of the unspoken philological barriers. Amanda’s research cards enable this work in the classroom to happen effortlessly. Veronica Leacock Business Manager, The Ogden Trust

Veronica has recommended some great books that you could introduce to your class and to your school science library to help inspire your pupils.

  • Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Coretta Scott King
  • Black Scientist & inventors in the UK: Millenniums of inventions & innovations by Michael Williams & Manyonyi Amalemba
  • Groundbreaking Scientists by J.P. Miller
  • Five Brilliant Scientists by Lynda Jones
  • Book of Black Heroes: Scientists, healers and inventors by Wade Hudson
  • Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum
  • Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
  • Look Up! By Nathan Bryon
  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock: Space Scientist by Jo Nelson
  • Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System by Maggie Aderin-Pocock
  • The boy who harnessed the wind by William Kamkwamba

Download our new research cards on inspirational Black physicists.

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