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Hidden Figures Project

Part 1: Research

Choose a real life character from the film Hidden Figures. Research the history, background, accomplishments of the character. Be sure to include this person’s significance to the growth/success of the NASA Space program.



Katherine Goble Johnson

Mary Jackson

Dorothy Vaughn

Vivian Mitchell

John Glenn

Robert Gilruth

Alan Shepard

President Eisenhower

President Kennedy

President Johnson

President Nixon


Several characters in the film were fictionalized versions or composites of several people. Al Harrison was created to represent several layers of management, Paul Stafford was a composite of several team members, Karl Zielinski was a fictionalized version of Kazimierz Czarnecki.


To find more names:


Go to, click About in the TOP bar and choose Astronauts or NASA People from the drop down menu. In Astronauts, you can find lists of active as well as former astronauts. In NASA People, you can scroll to look at the section topics covered or search a name of job title using the search box at the top of the page. Once you find someone you are interested in researching there are many places to check for more information about them. Also, NASA History pops up in the left column on some pages – watch for it!


More Search Terms to Use (link them using “and” or putting them in parentheses)







Space exploration

Gemini program

Apollo program

Rocket science

National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics

Mercury Program

National Aeronautics and Space Administration


  1. MHS Library Catalog

            Go to the MHS homepage, click Library in the blue sidebar and then Search the Library Catalog. Open the Metuchen High School catalog and put in your search terms.  Or, look through a list of possibilities in a resource list – from the catalog search page, find and click Resource lists (on the left) and view Hidden Figures.  I preselected a number of books I thought might be useful.  THIS IS NOT EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE AVAILABLE, so also do your own search. If you find something you think I should add to the list, please let me know.



From the library page, go to Databases.  There are many that will be helpful.

To get you started:


American National Biography  (metboe/metboe)

Gale Virtual Reference Library (metu_log)

World Book Online (metuchen/bulldogs)



History Database Center (metuchenhs/bulldogs)

Infotrac Periodical Collections (metu_log)



EBSCOhost WEB (meshinf/infolink) 




Science Online (metuchenhs/bulldogs)