Getting public school sophomores excited about math, science with ‘Hidden Figures’ screening

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Approximately 300 St. Louis public high school sophomores were treated to a showing of the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ at the Galleria 6 Thursday, with the goal being to get kids excited about math and science and show them anything is possible.

The film tells the story of the struggles and accomplishments of three black women who helped NASA soar in the early 1960s.

“People of color have opportunities, but sometimes we don’t recognize it and only see the obstacles,” said Juan Elizondo, National Math and Science Initiative. “Obviously, the women in the film saw the obstacles and got around them.”

The National Math and Science Initiative out of Dallas helps kids around the country with access to rigorous course work and some of the country's best teachers in math and science. They chose to work in St. Louis after receiving a new grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

“They'll be getting more access to AP classes next year, so we thought that maybe we would show them what they would be able to do and get them excited about these classes,” Elizondo said.

Students from Soldan, Clyde Miller Career Academy, and Central Visual and Performing Arts high schools are in the program now. Three more schools will be working with the group next year.