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Bell to host city school students at private screening of “Hidden Figures”

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Birmingham Mayor William Bell will host 140 city school students this month at a private screening of the hit movie, ‘Hidden Figures,’ which stars Octavia Spencer. (Fox Pictures)

From Staff Reports

Birmingham Mayor William Bell will host 140 city school students this month at a private screening of the hit movie, ‘Hidden Figures,’ which stars Octavia Spencer. (Fox Pictures)
Birmingham Mayor William Bell will host 140 city school students this month at a private screening of the hit movie, ‘Hidden Figures,’ which stars Octavia Spencer. (Fox Pictures)

Birmingham Mayor William Bell will host 140 city school students this month at a private screening of the hit movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Twenty ninth grade students, all girls, from each of city’s seven high schools will be identified by the school’s principal.

The movie tells the story of three brilliant African American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) – who serve as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, an achievement that restored the nation’s confidence and turned around the Space Race.

“We approached the school system with the idea to host this screening as a way to grow interest in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classes and jobs,” Bell said. “Our hope is for the young women to have a memorable day watching the movie and hearing from women currently working in science, technology and math careers. This is the first of many targeted mentoring programs that we will bring online this year. Our goal is to engage, educate, and empower each student in the city by offering opportunities like this,” he said.

Interim Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Contri said: “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to be afforded our young females. I hope this will be a springboard to further interest our female students in science and the space industry.”

Area colleges and local tech firms are being tapped to provide mentoring opportunities and long term guidance in pursuing these careers. Students interested in participating should contact their principal.