Hidden Figures Test | Final 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. Why was Katherine Goble Johnson unable to go to the editorial meetings?

2. What did the students in Christine Mann Darden's high school worry about when they heard the Brown v. Board of Education decision?

3. Who was the division chief of The Flight Research Division when Katherine Goble Johnson was sent to work there?

4. What was the first machine used at Langley to perform computations?

5. How long were schools in Prince Edward closed due to defunding to avoid segregation?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was Katherine Goble Johnson warned not to ask for a transfer to an engineering group when she started working at Langley?

2. Why was Katherine Goble Johnson prohibited from attending the editorial meetings?

3. In the 1950s, what made Dorothy Vaughan believe that the nature of the computers' jobs would be changing?

4. Why was there a push toward space for Americans after Russia launched Sputnik?

5. Why was the U.S. Army called to a school in Little Rock, Arkansas?

6. Why did Dorothy Lee regret agreeing with a reporter when she said that women had to act like ladies in the workplace?

7. Why did NASA move the space program to Houston?

8. Why did Melvin Butler fail to inform the engineering staff that James Williams was black?

9. What did Americans fear when Russia launched Sputnik?

10. Why did Katherine and Jimmy Goble have to stay with relatives when they attended Jimmy's sister's wedding?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Shetterly dedicates an entire chapter to Mary Jackson’s son entering a soap box derby. Write an essay explaining the purpose of this chapter. How does the chapter relate to the themes of the book? What information about the individuals focused on does Shetterly communicate through this chapter? What information does the chapter communicate about racial relations during the time period?

Essay Topic 2

Melvin Butler saw the need for hiring black women as human computers due to a shortage in the workforce created by the war. How did the way in which Butler hired the women and brought them into Langley affect how they were treated or accepted in the workplace? Cite specific examples of the practices or structures he put into place and how they influenced the way in which black women were received in the workplace.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay discussing Shetterly’s motives for writing Hidden Figures. What does she mean when she says that past events can help shed light on the modern world? What insight does Hidden Figures provide about the modern world?

(see the answer keys)

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