Honoring Black History Month

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month (February), we are inviting you to join us to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans who have made an impact in STEM. Below you will find several FREE lessons you can use in your classroom or remote setting. We would love for you to share your favorite article, picture or quote from an African-American in STEM and tag us on Facebook or Twitter.

Classroom Resources

katherine johnson

Katherine Johnson was the NASA mathematician portrayed in the hit movie Hidden Figures. February is Black History Month, and our Activate Learning team has prepared a brief biography of this African American pioneer for you to share with your students. It includes questions to inspire a meaningful classroom discussion about each student’s potential in STEM-related careers.

ashanti johnson

Dr. Ashanti Johnson is an inspiration and you can now share her story with your students. She was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in oceanography and she currently works with minority students to help them gain exposure to scientific pursuits.


Dr. Daly’s successful and groundbreaking career all started with a good education. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Queens College. She then received her M.S. in chemistry from New York University in one year. In 1947, she made history when she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Besides her research, Dr. Daly also taught biochemistry courses.


Dr. Tyson was not always the best student. As he went through school, some people discouraged him from becoming a scientist. But he was determined. He worked hard. Eventually, he earned a degree in physics, two more degrees in astronomy and astrophysics, and a PhD in astrophysics. He became the director of the Hayden Planetarium—the same place where he first saw the stars!

dawn wright

Dr. Wright grew up in Hawaii where she was surrounded by the ocean. As a child, she watched a television show called The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau was a scientist and an ocean explorer. In each episode of his show, Cousteau explored environments and animals living in the ocean. He taught people about things they would probably never see. Dr. Wright’s enjoyment of the show sparked her passion of exploring the unknown!


Our very popular Claim, Evidence and Reasoning poster is a key component of our programs and is used in classrooms across the country to serve as a reminder of the Scientific Explanations process. We created this resource to empower teachers and students alike in the process of supporting claims with evidence.

At Activate Learning, we believe there is a better way to engage students in STEM.

Engage students with authentic learning and phenomena that are relevant and meaningful.

With our programs, student engagement comes from actively doing and making sense of science and mathematics. Students investigate and explain phenomena, gather and analyze data, develop and use visual models, and solve multi-step problems. They develop important life skills as they work collaboratively in groups and explore individually with technology supports. Our programs help students to articulate their thinking, critique the reasoning of others, and persevere in completing rich tasks and tackling complex problems.

Inspire teachers with research-based curricula that support three-dimensional learning.

Our programs fuel the passion of our teachers. Educators are actively guiding students through rigorous science and mathematics investigations. Our comprehensive teacher resources provide the necessary content, structure, and supports. We provide videos for lesson preparation, just-in-time access to instructional materials, embedded guides to orchestrate each investigation, and technology supports to efficiently evaluate student work and provide personalized feedback.

Prepare students for STEM careers of tomorrow.

Our programs offer investigation-centered and project-based learning that allow students to drive their learning through their own questions and ideas. The learning skills and science concepts that students explore and practice prepare them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. This translates into young adults willing and able to question the world around them and lead innovation.