Exploration Place and the Kansas African American Museum unite for Black History Month

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Exploration Place has turned into the canvas for a new exhibit honoring African-American scientists during Black History Month. Each night in February, a giant portrait of a black earth and space science pioneer will be projected onto the side of the science center’s iconic island.

You’ll see the exhibits of the Arkansas Riverside Trail, which was recently named Wichita’s busiest walking and biking trail. Exploration Place encourages visitors to visit the exhibit, take and share photos, and learn about the positive impact African American scientists have had on society.

“We hope this exhibit will lead to greater appreciation of African American contributions to STEM,” said Adam Smith, President and CEO of Exploration Place. “And that through sharing on social media we can get the message out to as wide an audience as possible.”

The nightly exhibit is a collaboration with the Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM), the National Informal STEM Education Network, and Exploration Place.

“Our mission is to make the African-American experience resonate in every Kansan,” said Denise Sherman, executive director of TKAAM. “We hope that the African-American scientists presented
encourage others to learn more about STEM disciplines.

Here are the African American scientists who will be featured on the island of Exploration Place this year:

  • February 1-7: Katherine Johnson (1918 – 2020), NASA mathematician featured in the 2016 film “HiddenFigures”
  • February 8-14: Warren Washington (b. 1936), internationally renowned atmospheric scientist
  • February 15-21: Mae Jemison (born in 1956), astronaut, doctor, engineer
  • February 22–28 John Brooks Slaughter (b. 1935), Kansas native, engineer, director of the National Science Foundation

Visitors are invited to stay to watch the Ring of Fire nighttime lighting at 7 p.m. at the Keeper of the Plains and see 12 new riverside banners featuring a selection of women in STEM careers.

For more information on African American scientists, visit Exploration.org/bhm.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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