11 Famous African American Mathematicians You Should Know About

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11 Famous African American Mathematicians You Should Know About

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February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and honor the generations of African American men and women and their struggle to achieve citizenship and equal rights in American society.

Black History Month provides a special opportunity for students to explore and learn more about famous African American mathematicians and their contributions to our culture and modern institutions.

When it comes to STEM classes, one of the best ways you can celebrate Black History Month in your classroom is by sharing the contributions of famous African American Mathematicians that you and your kids may not be familiar with (but definitely should!).

Some ideas for celebrating these famous African American Mathematicians is by focusing on a different individual each day, assigning individuals for a famous African American Mathematician research assignment, or by sharing this article on your classroom’s bulletin board.

And while you can share this list with your students and admire the accomplishments of these incredible mathematicians any time of the year, the month of February provides a focused opportunity to provide your students with deeper historical context and make connections between the past, the present, and the future.

11 Famous African American Mathematicians


Stock Montage / Contributor/ Archive Photos/ Getty Images

Stock Montage / Contributor/ Archive Photos/ Getty Images

1.) Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Banneker, a mostly self-educated man in mathematics and astrology, is best know for building America’s first clock—a wooden device that struck hourly. Using his rich understanding of trigonometry and astronomy, he accurately predicted a solar eclipse in 1789.

Banneker was also a passionate civil rights advocate. In 1791, he famously penned a letter to then secretary of state Thomas Jefferson asking for his help in improving conditions for Africans living in the United States, which highly impressed Jefferson and convinced many that blacks were intellectually equal to whites.

He died at age 74 on October 9, 1806.


2.) Fern Hunt (1948-Present)

Fern Hunt is best know for her work in applied mathematics and mathematical biology. Throughout her great career, she has been involved with biomathematics, patterns in genetic variation, and chaos theory.

She currently works as an educator and presenter with the aim of encouraging women and minority students to pursue graduate degrees in mathematics and other STEM fields.

Hunt is a strong support of student choice, following one’s passion, and surrounding yourself with a strong support system, which are all factors that she credits to her own personal success in mathematics.


Source: https://lsc.org

Source: https://lsc.org

3.) Mark Dean (1957-Present)

Dean is a famous computer scientist and engineer, credited with assisting in the development of several breakthrough computer technologies for IBM.

He invented the first gigahertz computer chip and co-invented the Industry Standard Architecture System for computing, which allows for common plug-ins such as personal printers and modems.

Dean was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1997


Source: web.usi.edu

Source: web.usi.edu

4.) Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969)

In 1925, Elbert Frank Cox was the first black man to earn a Ph.D in mathematics not only in the United States, but in the entire world.

After receiving this honor, Cox became a professor of mathematics at Howard University in Washington D.C. and eventually became chairman of the Mathematics Department in 1957. He would hold this role with great esteem until his retirement in 1965.

In 1975, the Howard University Mathematics Department established the Elbert F. Cox Scholarship Fund for undergraduate math majors to encourage young black students to pursue degrees in mathematics.


5.) Katherine Johnson (1918-Present)

Katherine Johnson was the main character of the critically-acclaimed film Hidden Figures. Her contributions in the field of orbital mechanics, alongside fellow female African American mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, were critical to the United States’ success in putting astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962.

During her 35-year career at NASA , she held a reputation for being a master of complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computer programming for performing complex calculations.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2015.

Video: Katherine Johnson: The Girl Who Loved to Count by NASA


Source: www.MIT.edu

Source: www.MIT.edu

6.) Valerie Thomas (1943-Present)

Valerie Thomas is a scientist and inventor best known for inventing the Illusion Transmitter in 1980. This technology was the first of its kind in the field of 3D-imagery and is the basis for modern 3D-televisions, video games, and movies.

From 1964 -1995, Thomas worked for NASA, developing real-time computer data systems and managing the team that developed the Landsat technology that supported the first satellite to transmit images from outer space.

Today, she continues to serve as a mentor for youth through the Science Mathematics Aerospace Research and Technology and National Technical Association.


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Source: http://www.panitchlaw.com

Source: http://www.panitchlaw.com

7.) Lonnie Johnson (1949-Present)

Lonnie Johnson is a famous inventor, mathematician, and engineer who holds over 120 patents. He served as an engineer for the U.S. Air Force, where he worked on developing the stealth bomber, and later for NASA’s Jet Propulsion program.

He is best known for inventing the Super Soaker water gun while working at the U.S. Air Force, a product which has grossed nearly $1 Billion since 1990. He also invented a “toy projectile gun,” which eventually became the Nerf Gun.


8.) John Urschel (1991-Present)

John Urschel excelled in both mathematics and playing football at Penn State University and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. In 2014, Urschel was drafted from Penn State into the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens, where he played his entire NFL career before retiring at age 26 to further pursue mathematics.

He is currently working towards his Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT where some of his mathematical fields of interest include graph theory, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning.


Source: www.agnesscott.edu

Source: www.agnesscott.edu

9.) Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890–1980)

Euphemia Lofton Haynes is famous for being the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, which she achieved from the Catholic University of America in 1943.

After earning her Ph.D., she embarked on a 47-year career of advocacy for students of color, improving schools, and overcoming the harmful effects of racial segregation. During this time, she was also a math professor at the District of Columbia Teachers College, where she managed the Division of Mathematics and Business Education department.

Haynes died at the age of 89 on July 25, 1980.


Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

10.) Annie Easley (1933-2011)

Annie Easley is famous NASA computer and rocket scientist and mathematician who contributed to several space programs , inspired others through her participation in numerous outreach programs, and broke down barriers for both women and African Americans in STEM. Most notably, she was a leading member of the team that developed the breakthrough Centaur rocket, which opened the door for the launch of many of NASA’s most important missions.

Easley was known for being a “human computer” and always fought to do her best in the face of adversity. In a 2001 interview she shared that “I just have my own attitude. I’m out here to get the job done, and I knew I had the ability to do it, and that’s where my focus was.” 


Source: www.nteu.org

Source: www.nteu.org

11.) Mae Carol Jemison (1956-Present)

Mae Carol Jemison is a mathematician, engineer, physician, and astronaut. In 1992, she became the first African American woman to visit space when she went into orbit aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Jemison also spent time as a general practice physician and in the Peace Corps before joining NASA’s astronaut program.

She continues to be involved in several initiatives and recently served on the council for an initiative called "Science Matters" which aims to encourage young children to understand and pursue careers in STEM.


Are you looking for inspirational printable quotes to share with your kids?


How are you planning on celebrating Black History Month in YOUR classroom? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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21 Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids in Elementary School

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21 Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids in Elementary School

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Math teachers are always looking for cool math games and activities to share with students at the elementary and middle school levels. Using cool math games and activities in your lesson plans is a great strategy for boosting student engagement and excitement for learning math inside and outside of the classroom.

The following list of cool math games and activities for kids includes math video games, math board games, math puzzles and brain teasers, and other fun math game and activity ideas.

These cool maths games and activities are perfect for lesson plans, at home learning, summer session, and more. Which one will be your favorite?


Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids: Video Games

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1.) Prodigy

With over 900 crucial math skills for Grades 1 - 8, Prodigy is the perfect game for mastering mathematics both at home and at school (visit).

2.) Math Playground

Math Playground is a popular learning site filled with math games, logic puzzles and a variety of 
problem solving activities. A favorite of parents and teachers, Math Playground provides 
a safe place for children to learn and explore math concepts at their own pace (visit).

BrainPop Jr. shares a huge collection of fun, game-based learning math lessons.

BrainPop Jr. shares a huge collection of fun, game-based learning math lessons.

3.) BrainPop Jr

Gently encourages young learners to ask questions and form their own ideas about core math learning topics (visit).

4.) DreamBox Learning-Math

DreamBox Learning Math is an adaptive, online K-8 math program designed to complement classroom instruction and deliver results (visit).

5.) Monkey Math (iOS app)

Join your child’s favorite monkey in math games and activities in a playfully designed beach-themed world (visit)


Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids: Board Games

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6.) Sum Swap

Kids develop math fluency and early math skills basic as they play through the game board (learn more).

Kids love to play the  Sequence Numbers  game!

Kids love to play the Sequence Numbers game!

7.) Sequence Numbers

Match the addition or subtraction equation on the card to the correct answer on the board, and place your chip there (learn more).

8.) Dino Math Tracks Place Value Game

Learn place value, counting, addition, and subtraction with a prehistoric twist! (learn more)

9.) Pay Day!

This classic board game is much easier than Monopoly and teaches kids how to make and manage money (learn more)

10.) Pizza Fraction Fun Game

Segmented pizzas provide a multi-sensory way to introduce and explore fractions (learn more)


Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids: Math Puzzles

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11.) Daily Sudoku for Kids

Sudoku puzzles are a great activity for kids. They exercise the brain, help develop logical reasoning, and provide a sense of achievement (visit).

12.) Riddles from Math Warehouse

Your kids will have a blast with fun math riddles and brain teasers! (visit)

Get free math puzzles at www.mashupmath.com

Get free math puzzles at www.mashupmath.com

13.) Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Puzzles from Mashup Math

Sharing these fun, free, and printable daily math puzzles with your students is guaranteed to boost student engagement and get your kids exciting about practicing and learning math every day! (visit)

14.) Which One Doesn’t Belong?

Make your math warm-ups more visual and thought-provoking with Which One Doesn’t Belong? activities. They’re a great strategy for instantly sparking creative and critical student thinking (learn more and access free sample graphics).

15.) Two Truths and One Lie! (2T1L)

2T1L is a fun way to spark deep mathematical thinking and open discussion at the start (or end—2T1L activities make great exit tickets) of any lesson (learn more and access sample activities)


Cool Math Games and Activities for Kids: Fun Activities

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16.) The Barbie Bungee Jump!

The Barbie Bungee Jump Experiment is a super fun, hands-on, group STEM lesson idea (learn more).

17.) The Human Number Line

Fraction Kits are simple and highly effective.

Fraction Kits are simple and highly effective.

Every student receives a card with a value on the front and they have to stand side-by-side to create a human number line! Make this activity extra challenging by only allow certain students to speak (or none at all). (video example)

18.) Fraction Kit

Creating fraction kits is a great way to get your kids exploring equivalent fractions and acquiring a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic (learn more)

19.) Math Facts Hopscotch

Challenge kids to a game of hopscotch, multiplication hopscotch that is. Get some fresh air while skip counting and hopping! (learn more)

20.) The Famous Four 4’s Activity

Can you find every number between 1 and 20 using only four 4’s and any operation? (Here’s an example √4 + √4 + 4⁄4 = 5). (learn more)

21.) Candy Math!

Using candy as a hands-on math learning tool is a great way to make good use of all the piles of candy at Halloween or Easter and to boost student engagement (get 30+ Amazing Candy Math Activities for Kids).


Would you like FREE math resources and activity ideas in your inbox every week? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)


Tags: 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, cool math games for kids, cool math games for elementary school, cool maths games for kids, cool maths games for elementary kids

What fun math Activities are you sharing with your kids this week? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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Free Math Brain Teaser Puzzles for Kids in Grades 1-6 to Celebrate Snack Food Month!

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Free Math Brain Teaser Puzzles for Kids in Grades 1-6 to Celebrate Snack Food Month!

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Are you looking for some fun and printable math brain teaser puzzles for kids elementary school?

If so, the following collection of 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade math brain teaser puzzles for kids will be a perfect addition to your lesson plans during the month of February.

All of these free math brain teaser puzzles can be used a key component of your lesson, as a warm-up, do-now, or anticipatory set, as a cool-down, or even as a homework assignment.

And since February is National Snack Food Month, a time celebrate your favorite snack foods, whether they be healthy or unhealthy, these super fun, brand new snack foods math puzzles are perfect for celebrating in your classroom!

The puzzles are tiered by difficulty using the color system from my brand new PDF workbook: The Big Book of Super Fun Math Puzzles for Grades 1-6 !

Pink (Grades 1 & 2) | Blue (Grades 3 & 4) | Green (Grades 5 & 6)


1.) Pink Level (Grades 1-2)

Solution:

Chips=4

Cookie=6

Popcorn=3

?=7

Want over 300 more fun math puzzles for grades 1-6? Check out our brand new PDF workbook The Big Book of Super Fun Math Puzzles for Grades 1-6 !

Would you like FREE math resources in your inbox every day? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)

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2.) Blue Level (Grades 3-4)

Solution:

Chips=8

Pretzel=8

Cookie=13

Popcorn=5

?=80

Want over 300 more fun math puzzles for grades 1-6? Check out our brand new PDF workbook The Big Book of Super Fun Math Puzzles for Grades 1-6 !

Would you like FREE math resources in your inbox every day? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)


Click here  to get more free WODB graphics like this.

Click here to get more free WODB graphics like this.

3.) Green Level (Grades 5-6)

Solution:

Chips=14

Pretzel=14

Cookie=8

Popcorn=13

?=222

Want over 300 more fun math puzzles for grades 1-6? Check out our brand new PDF workbook The Big Book of Super Fun Math Puzzles for Grades 1-6 !

Would you like FREE math resources in your inbox every day? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)


Do you want over 300 more math puzzles and activities just like these?

Get your copy of our best-selling PDF workbook The Big Book of Super Fun Math Puzzles for Grades 1-6: 300+ Kid-Friendly Math Activities today!


Tags: math brain teasers 1st grade, math brain teasers 2nd grade, math brain teasers 3rd grade, math brain teasers 4th grade, math brain teasers 5th grade, math brain teasers 6th grade, 1st grade math puzzles, 2nd grade math puzzles, 3rd grade math puzzles, 4th grade math puzzles, 5th grade math puzzles, 6th grade math puzzles

What fun February Math Activities are you sharing with your kids this year? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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10 Free Christmas Math Activities for Your Kids

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10 Free Christmas Math Activities for Your Kids

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Are you hoping to find some super fun and engaging Christmas Math Activities and Christmas Math Worksheets for your elementary school kids this year?

Well Christmas has come early, because you can now access 10 Free Christmas Maths Activities and Christmas Math Worksheets for Elementary School Kids that are not only highly engaging, but easy to print and share as well.

These Christmas Maths Activities come in the form of cute math puzzles that require students to use their math skills to find the value of various Christmas Holiday icons and symbols.

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The activities are appropriate for grades 1-5 (level 1-5) and make for great warm-up, cool-down, and/or homework assignments.

The following printable holiday math worksheets allow you to inject a little bit of merry mathematics into each daily lesson from now until Christmas break!

Parents can also share these fun Christmas Math Activities with your kids to keep them engaged and thinking mathematically while on break from school.

Download Instructions: You can download any of the challenges by right-clicking the image and saving it to your computer or by dragging-and-dropping each image to your desktop.


1.) Christmas Math Activities #1

Wreath = 3

Snow Globe = 2

Gifts = 2

? = 5

 

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2.) Christmas Maths Activities #2

Candy Cane = 1

Hot Cocoa = 4

Present = 2

? = 3


3.) Christmas Math Activities #3

Snowman = 3

Tree = 7

Cabin = 4

? = 7

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4.) Christmas Maths Activities #4

Snowman = 5

Present = 6

Ornament = 3

? = 2


5.) Christmas Math Activities #5

Reindeer = 2

Snow Globe = 3

Stockings = 4

? = 1

 

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6.) Christmas Maths Activities #6

Ornament = 2

Chimney = 7

Snow Globe = 4

? = 8


Are you looking for more daily math challenges and puzzles to share with your kids?

My best-selling workbook 101 Math Challenges for Engaging Your Students is now available as a PDF download. You can get yours today by clicking here.


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7.) Christmas Math Activities #7

Holly = 10

Ornaments = 9

Hot Cocoa = 6

? = 16


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8.) Christmas Math Activities #8

Tree = 5

Gift = 7

Ornaments = 13

? = 25


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9.) Christmas Math Activities #9

Santa = 6

Hot Cocoa = 20

Candy Cane = 3

? = 29


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10.) Christmas Maths Activities #10

Tree = 10

Cookie = 8

Snowman = 5

? = 23

 


All I want for Christmas is your input! Have thoughts? Please (oh please, oh please) share them in the comments below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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The Best Math Christmas Word Problems for 5th grade

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The Best Math Christmas Word Problems for 5th grade

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Are you looking for super fun and engaging free Math Christmas Math Worksheets for 5th Grade (level 5) that are printable and easy to share?

Word problems help students think logically and creatively while applying their math skills to real-world scenarios (which is super fun when those scenarios are Christmas-related).

So go ahead and add some of the fun 5th Grade Christmas Word Problems (Grade 5) to your upcoming lesson plans before winter break or Christmas vacation (these activities are perfect for the last day before your kids leave for vacation).

Each 5th Grade Christmas Maths Word Problem (Grade 5) can be used a key component of your lesson, as a warm-up, do-now, or anticipatory set, as a cool-down, or even as a homework assignment.

The word problems cover topics including adding and subtracting fractions, equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting decimals, and multiplication and division.

The Christmas Math Word Problems for 5th Grade are super cute and engaging and your 5th graders will love them!


1.) Christmas Math Word Problem #1: Shop Till You Drop!

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Answer:

X + 2X + 3X = 720 —- X=120

Alvin spent $120, Lorie spent $240, and Chris spent $360

Try It! Share this free Christmas Word Problem with your 5th graders by right-clicking the image to save it to your computer or to print.

Would you like FREE math resources in your inbox every day? Click here to sign up for my free math education email newsletter (and get a free math eBook too!)


2.) Christmas Math Word Problem #2: Reindeer Feed

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Answer: 5/30 pounds were fed at dinner

Try It! Share this free Christmas Word Problem with your 5th graders by right-clicking the image to save it to your computer or to print.


Are you looking for more daily math challenges and puzzles to share with your kids?

My best-selling workbook 101 Math Challenges for Engaging Your Students is now available as a PDF download. You can get yours today by clicking here.


3.) Christmas Math Word Problem #3: Cookie Bake

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Answer: Rej would need 2.4 cups of sugar and 0.06 cups of cinnamon.

Try It! Share this free Christmas Word Problem with your 5th graders by right-clicking the image to save it to your computer or to print.


What 5th Grade Christmas Math Activities are you sharing with your kids this year? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!

(Never miss a Mashup Math blog--click here to get our weekly newsletter!)

By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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