Trailblazing Astronaut Will Discuss the Importance of STEM in Afternoon Keynote Address
Many children dream of becoming an astronaut. Few manifest that dream into reality like Mae C. Jemison, M.D.
Jemison hopes to inspire the next generation of problem-solvers and entrepreneurs during her afternoon keynote lecture, “STEM: The Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.” She will deliver the address at 4:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in ACC North 100 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Jemison was the first woman of color to explore space. In September 1992 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, she performed experiments in material science, life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness.
In a 2021 interview on the Today Show, Jemison highlighted her commitment to sharing her knowledge with future trailblazers: “It would have never occurred to me when I was growing up as a little girl that I would be the first Black woman in space, or the first woman of color in the world in space. When it happens, you have responsibilities in terms of making sure there are other people who will come behind you, and that you’re supporting the inclusion of everyone involved.”
Delivering on this commitment, Jemison founded The Earth We Share (TEWS) international science camp in 1994. The four-week residential program was designed to increase middle school and secondary school students’ science literacy and problem-solving skills by learning about the impact that science, mathematics and technology have on society.
Jemison also created The Jemison Group, a technology consulting firm focused on integrating sociocultural issues into the design of engineering and science initiatives. The Jemison Group develops standalone science and technology companies, such as BioSentient Corporation, a medical devices and services company.
Most recently, Jemison leads the 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative, a bold, far-reaching nonprofit working to assure the possibility of human travel beyond our solar system within the next 100 years. She is an inductee in the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame and the Texas Science Hall of Fame.
Last year, Jemison released a new edition of her autobiography, Find Where the Wind Blows: Moments From My Life. Writing to her 16-year-old self, Jemison recounts her journey from Chicago’s Southside to becoming a seminal trailblazer for women in STEM, and the many lessons she learned along the way.
“There are so many parallels between when I was growing up and the world teenagers find themselves in today—human rights, social justice, an explosion of science and technology, space exploration, growing awareness and connections across the globe, evolving music and art, and individuals asserting their rights to participate,” Jemison said in a press release for the book. “My story is about finding who you intend to be and trying to assert who you are as a teen as the world is changing around you. I hope my story provides some clues to making it through while keeping your smile, integrity and hopefulness.”