Fairfax Economic Development partners with Fairfax schools to further learn about NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson


FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Within Old Town Fairfax, you can spot a story walk. Officials within the county created this story walk to learn more about the African American mathematician Katherine Johnson and to also connect with city businesses until August 31.

“When thinking about Katherine Johnson there’s so many things that just call out. The fact that she was a woman, a woman of color and also a woman in a field of science and math — that is something that isn’t always praised or highlighted,” Danette Nguyen, assistant director/program manager of Fairfax Economic Development, said.

To learn about Johnson, you can start the walk at your own pace. You can find pages posted on businesses storefronts like Fairfax Surf Shop. In addition, there’s an activity page to accompany the walk.

“This is an opportunity to learn about Katherine Johnson. You’re fostering the love for learning, and you’re creating an opportunity for the business community and our community to interact,” said Nguyen.

Along this walk, students and residents can learn that Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by former President Barack Obama and was the first African American woman to attend grad school at West Virginia University.

Officials said The Old Town Fairfax City walk includes 15 stops and features the book DK Life Stories: Katherine Johnson written by Ebony Joy Wilkins The Fair City Mall walk features Hidden Figures written by Margot Lee Shetterly and includes 8 stops.

The first 100 completed activity pages submitted to economicdevelopment@fairfaxva.gov for each story will receive a copy of the book and be entered into a raffle to win one of six gift cards to a Fairfax City business.

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