Human Computer
Teacher Resources

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

By Andi Diehn  
Illustrated by Katie Mazeika
In Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineerreaders ages 5 to 8 learn what it was like for Mary Jackson to overcame challenges and become the first African American woman to work at NASA! Age-appropriate vocabulary, detailed illustrations, simple STEM projects such as such as designing paper airplanes, and a glossary all support foundational learning. Perfect for beginner readers or as a read aloud nonfiction picture book!

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“Four introductory volumes to the lives of prominent women of math and science. The reader learns about how they entered their fields, their work, and the challenges they faced. The biographies of Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson also reveal their struggles with segregation at NASA. The text is straightforward and focuses strictly on their careers. Time lines in the back fill in gaps for the reader whose curiosity is piqued. Colorful illustrations nicely complement the narrative. VERDICT: Interesting takes on important women should appeal to both browsers and report writers.

Praise for Forces: Physical Science for Kids from the Picture Book Science series by Andi Diehn

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“Forces, despite its down-to-earth scientific grounding, manages to do the nearly impossible. Diehn brings gravity, magnetism, push-pull forces, and friction to life in everyday contexts, without a hint of schoolroom jargon. Discussion of the forces arises naturally by inquiring what happens in a variety of situations. Shululu’s illustrations add to the fun, giving the book a storybook quality. Children, parents, and teachers alike can enjoy learning the charming, often funny, relatable, and accessible science within this Picture Book Science series (4 titles) offering.”

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Detailed Book Description

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her.  Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Elementary aged readers explore America’s history of segregation through the life of Mary Jackson, who overcame challenges to become the first African American woman to work at NASA! In Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer, readers ages 5 to 8 learn what it was like for Mary Jackson to work in a place where she couldn’t eat in the same lunchroom or even use the same bathroom as her white coworkers. But when she glimpsed an opportunity to work with the math and science she loved to do, she decided nothing was going to stop her.

Human Computer is part of a set of four books in the Picture Book Biography series that introduces pioneers of science to young children. The other titles in this series include Fossil Huntress:Mary Leakey, Paleontologist; Space Adventurer: Bonnie Dunbar, Astronaut; and Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist.

Available In:
Hardcover, $16.95
Paperback, $9.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Glossary | Resources
Specs: 9.5 x 9.5 size | 4-color interior | 32 pages
Subject: Language Arts | Science