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Mae Jemison: Female Astronaut (Grade 4)

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Name: Date:
Mae Jemison: Female Astronaut
by Maya Sousa

One day in 1956 in the town of Decatur, Alabama a girl named Mae was born. She had two older siblings, excited to welcome their little sister. Her dad was a roofer and carpenter, and her mother was an elementary teacher.

Mae and her family moved to Chicago when she was three, and this was the city she called home.

As Mae grew older, she spent a lot of her time in the library reading about all sides of science, especially astronomy. When Mae was younger, she watched the Apollo space launch and she saw that there were no female astronauts. This was what was normal during the time.

After seeing the African American actress Nichelle Nichols who played a
Lieutenant on the television show Star Trek, Mae set to change that. She became determined to go to space one day!

Mae attended Stanford University to learn about chemical engineering and African studies at the age of 16!

But she did not stop there.

Mae is a trained dancer. She had to decide whether to become a professional dancer or go to medical school. She decided on medical school. Mae went on to attend Cornell University to study medicine and obtained her medical degree in
1981. During her time in school, she studied in Kenya and Cuba. Mae is quadrilingual, she speaks English, Russian, Japanese and Swahili.

Following graduation, Mae volunteered with the Peace Corps as a medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Mae had always wanted to be an astronaut, so after seeing the first American female astronaut Sally Ride in space, she applied at NASA. She did this despite her fear of heights!

On June 4, 1987 Mae made history and became the first African American woman to join NASA’s training program. After a year of training, Mae began working at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In September of 1992, Mae became one of the seven astronauts on mission STS47, on the space shuttle Endeavor. She spent eight days in space, orbiting the Earth 126 times!

After spending six years at NASA, Mae left and became a professor at the University of Dartmouth teaching Environmental Studies. Even after all of her work, Mae continues to help educate the future generation. She established “The Earth We Share” science camp for high school students. Mae has written several books about her life and has appeared on many television programs. This includes an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mae was even featured in a Lego set based on the women of NASA.

Right now, Mae is in charge of the 100 Year Starship project working toward pursuing human space travel to another star within the next 100 years.
1. 
What subjects did Mae spend time in the library studying?
  1. Math and art
  2. English and science
  3. Science and astronomy
  4. Language and social studies
2. 
Where did Mae graduate from with her first degree?
  1. UCLA
  2. Cornell
  3. Stanford
  4. Darmouth
3. 
In what occupation was Mae the first African American woman?
  1. Artist
  2. Doctor
  3. Teacher
  4. Astronaut
4. 
How many times did Mae Jemison orbit Earth on the spaceship Endeavor?
  1. 16
  2. 21
  3. 126
  4. 312
5. 
Mae is a quadrilingual. What does this mean?
  1. She is good at math.
  2. She can speak four languages.
  3. She can talk to many different animals.
  4. She plays four different types of sports.
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