Hidden Figures Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Margot Lee Shetterly
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the "X" in the designation of an airplane signify?

2. What event made Dorothy Vaughan decide that going to graduate school would be economically irresponsible?

3. Who was West Computing's section head when Dorothy Vaughan first came to Langley?

4. What notable member of the U.S. Navy visited Langley shortly before Dorothy Vaughan arrived?

5. What did James Thompson call the idea that black Americans had to fight in the war for victory overseas and at home for victory over oppression?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was it so difficult for Dorothy Vaughan to leave Farmville for her new job at Langley?

2. What was the attitude of the male engineers when a human computer made an error?

3. How did designating women as "subprofessionals" help the laboratory?

4. Why was Dorothy Vaughan taking a risk when she decided to sign a lease on a house in Newport News?

5. How did Dorothy Vaughan become Head of West Computing?

6. Why did Miriam Mann object to the "colored computers" sign in the cafeteria?

7. Why did Dorothy Vaughan work in the laundry at Camp Pickett in the summers?

8. How did Shetterly's childhood affect the way she thought of blacks working in science, math, and engineering?

9. What did Mary Winston Jackson try to teach the girls in the Girl Scouts troop that she lead?

10. What observation did black leaders make concerning the events occurring in Europe during World War II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Katherine Goble Johnson is an important figure in the book. How does Katherine’s story help the author to explore the themes of gender stereotypes, segregation, and discrimination? How did Katherine’s outlook help her to overcome discrimination? What personality traits did Katherine possess that helped her to succeed in a male-dominated workplace?

Essay Topic 2

Shetterly writes about how the area surrounding Langley Research Center affected those working at Langley. Write an essay describing the area and the way it impacted lives of African Americans living and working in the area. What was the area like? What housing was available to African Americans? How did being located in a segregated area affect Langley Research Center?

Essay Topic 3

Shetterly writes about the way that segregation affected black students both positively and negatively. Write an essay discussing the way segregation both helped and hindered black students. What were the negative effects? What were the positive effects?

(see the answer keys)

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