Dr. Mae C. Jemison: The First African-American Woman in Space

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Mae Jemison was born October 17, 1956 in the city of Decatur. She was a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, teacher, and astronaut. She had a wide range of experience in technology. Jemison graduated from Morgan Park High School in 1973 at the age of 16. She earned a bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and as BA in African-American studies. She attended Cornell University after earning these those degrees and received a doctor of medicine in degree in 1981. During medical school she traveled to Cuba, Kenya and Thailand, providing primary medical care to people living there. Dr. Mae Jemison returned to the U.S and accepted a position as a general practitioner in Los Angeles. She enrolled engineering classes and applied to NASA for admission to the astronaut program. Her first application, they turned her down but in 1987 she was accepted on her second application. She became one of the fifteen candidates accepted from over 2,000 applicants.

Jemison’s contributions to science began early and continued through each stage of her career due to interest in medicine, astronomy, computers, education, and technology. When Jemison was in high school, she ran test and documented her findings on sickle cell anemia in a medical laboratory for a school project for the science fair. Her mentor at the lab encouraged her to take her work seriously and gave her the opportunity to be a part of the scientific environment. With her background in engineering, computers, science and medicine, Jemison became an attractive candidate for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut program. Building on this experience, Jemison sought to work with children by creating a science camp called The Earth We Share. The camp, centered on science and founded in 1994, helps kids work together to find solutions for global problems. Jemison started the Jemison Group, which focuses on technology and its potential applications...
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