Student Spotlight: Suzanne Laird

During these tough times for teachers, SLIS student, Suzanne Laird, has been able to implement SLIS projects into her lesson plans for her current students. In her Fall 2020 class with Micah Bateman, Suzanne created this interactive lesson plan on "hidden figures". Here is what Suzanne had to say:

In my final project for Computing Foundations with Micah, I developed a Bitmoji classroom for my mathematically gifted and talented 5th graders to work through to learn how to code an HTML webpage. Part of the project was to learn about people who have contributed to the field of computer programming but have not been recognized for the work that they have done (exactly like the project we completed in Micah's class in which we had to research and submit a "hidden figure" to Wikipedia based on research we did). We read the picture book version of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Winifred Conkling. We then did a google search of famous computer programmers and the students were guided to see that the people that were in the search result were all white males. They then researched people other than white males from a couple of lists I provided them, chose one and put together a short presentation on a google jamboard. We learned about each famous person together. What was particularly poignant about this lesson was that the students pointed out to me that a poster I have on my door about famous inventors also contained only white men on it. We discussed how that should come down. I ordered other posters to replace it from the American Mathematical Society as they provide free posters to educators https://www.ams.org/posters. Now the posters up on my door and walls are entitled "Mathematically Gifted and Black", "Historical Black Mathematicians", "Latinos and Hispanix in the Mathematical Sciences", and "Celebrating Women Mathematicians".