U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith just sent the following message to the White House email list, promoting our first "edit-a-thon" here at the White House. This afternoon at 5 p.m. ET, we'll be writing the stories of influential African American STEM leaders into history.
Get more details below -- and if you didn't get the email, make sure to sign up for email updates here.
In a few hours, we'll be hosting the first-ever "edit-a-thon" here at the White House as part of our celebration of Black History Month.
Today, we join others in working to raise visibility of past and living African American heroes through similar edit-a-thons, classroom activities, and on social media.
Katherine Johnson, an elite mathematician, was central in calculating the trajectories for John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and the Apollo 11 mission. Lewis Howard Latimer was recruited to join the Edison Electric Light Company after Latimer patented his "process for manufacturing carbons," allowing the company to improve production of carbon filaments used in light bulbs upgraded from the earlier paper-based filaments that burned out quickly. Earlier, Latimer worked as Alexander Graham Bell's draftsman and is credited with penning the drawings in Bell's telephone patent.
It's critically important to know about all of the talented people who have been a part of advancing culture and society throughout America's history.
Together, we can help make sure these nearly lost histories are captured for our youth. Today's event will focus on African American heroes in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Starting at 5, we'll host students, researchers, and other members of the science community for an "edit-a-thon" where, in a two-hour crowd-sourced sprint, guests at the White House and online participants will add to and expand the stories of African Americans in STEM.
And we're encouraging people across the country to join us.
Help research and share the stories of African American STEM leaders, past and present, on the platform of your choice -- meet up on Wikipedia here, and share stories and photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and elsewhere using the hashtag #BHMEditathon.
Maybe the story you share belongs to someone you know, or someone you've read about in school. Maybe it's your story.
We can't wait to hear from you.
- Megan and Marvin