Elementary School Named in Honor of Mary Jackson of Hidden Figures

(Photo credit: Bill Nye/NASA Langley)

Mary Jackson is truly no longer a “hidden figure.”

An elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah, named Jackson Elementary School, will now be renamed in honor of Mary Jackson. Jackson was the first black female engineer to work at NASA. The engineer was one of the main characters featured in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures.

Hidden Figures tells the story of three African-American female’s work that played a vital role in NASA’s early historic space missions. The story centers around mathematician Katherine Johnson, NASA supervisor Dorothy Vaughan, and NASA engineer Mary Jackson. In the film, Jackson is portrayed by actress/singer Janelle Monae. The film was based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Jackson spent 34 years at NASA before retiring in 1985. Outside of her work at NASA, Jackson also spent time with young students teaching math. In addition, she worked at United Services Organization clubs that serviced the black community in hopes of peaking the students’ interest in science. The pioneering engineer passed away in 2005 at the age of 83.

This honor is a great addition to her legacy of trailblazing work and strife for equal chances for education opportunities for all.