The Frontiers of Flight Museum will celebrate the accomplishments of women in STEM-related fields with the launch of its inaugural Women’s Network brunch featuring retired NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Christine Darden, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. Dr. Darden is one of the trailblazers featured in the 2016 book by Margo Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The Story of African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race.
The 2016 best-seller inspired the hit 20th Century Fox movie of the same name, featured the lives of groundbreaking African-American women who overcame segregation and discrimination in the 1960s to play integral roles in the space program throughout their careers.
Dr. Christine Darden is featured in Shetterly’s book—she was hired at NASA in 1967 as a Computer/Data Analyst, and over the course of her career became the first African-American woman promoted into the Senior Executive Service at the NASA Langley Research Center.
“We are honored to have Dr. Darden as the guest speaker for the Frontiers of Flight Museum’s Women’s Network event,” said Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, President and CEO, Frontiers of Flight Museum. “The Museum’s Women’s Network is a leadership group that provides mentorship and support of the Frontiers of Flight Museum’s STEM education mission and advocates community involvement. Dr. Darden’s message inspires other young women to flourish in aviation, space exploration, and all STEM careers.”
Darden will discuss her life and NASA career. She was born in the small town of Monroe, North Carolina, the youngest of five children, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from Hampton University, a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Virginia State University, and a Doctor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University.
After joining NASA as a Computer/Data Analyst, Darden served as the Director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office, as Senior Program Manager in the High-Speed Research Program Office, as the Langley Assistant Director for Planning, and at her retirement, was the Director of the Office of Strategic Communications and Education Branch. During her career, Darden authored over 57 technical papers and articles and was an internationally recognized expert in high-speed aerodynamics and sonic boom research.
Darden has earned numerous honors, including two NASA Medals–one for her work and leadership of the Sonic Boom Program, and the other for her active involvement in working with and encouraging students to pursue careers in math and science. She has also received the Black Engineer of the Year Outstanding Achievement in Government Award and the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012, Darden was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Old Dominion University.
“Darden’s life’s work is an example of how STEM education can open up opportunities for today’s youth,” said Sutterfield-Jones. “The Frontiers of Flight Museum serves nearly 30,000 children every year with STEM-related educational programming and through support of events like this, we can enrich the educational experience for all our community’s children.”
Individual patron tickets are $50 and $500 based on availability. For more information visit: https://www.flightmuseum.com/product/womens-network-darden-brunch-tickets/.