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Celebrating Black History Month

Carnegie Science Center Celebrates Black History Month

During Black History Month, we’re honored to celebrate the amazing and groundbreaking influences of notable Black scientists that left indelible marks on STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). As we continue our work and aspire to model practices and a culture that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within our museums every day, we’re celebrating throughout February with special virtual events and programs that highlight that commitment. See the exciting lineup of virtual and on-site events and programs!

Upcoming virtual events:

Image courtesy of Dr. J’Tia Hart

Facebook Live Career Connections Chat:

Dr. J’Tia Hart, Nuclear Engineer at Argonne National Laboratory
Tues., Feb. 16 at 5:30 pm
Facebook Live opens in a new window

About Dr. J’Tia Hart:

As a 15-year-old freshman at Florida State University and a former contestant on CBS’ Survivor, Dr. J’Tia Hart has always been up for a challenge. Now, she’s turned her attention to increasing minority participation in STEM and serving as a spark to ignite the future. Dr. Hart, as a multidimensional and vibrant professional, brings a modern approach to STEM. Through her philanthropy, she seeks to illustrate the potential of a STEM career focusing on women in the African-American and Latinx communities. Her goal is to show young women that they can exist and excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dr. Hart is a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory where she directs analysis covering international affairs, nuclear energy and safety, energy security, and cybersecurity to inform executive cabinet decisions. Before rejoining Argonne in March 2020, she served as the Executive Briefer to the Secretary of Energy in the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and led intelligence analysis on nuclear proliferation, foreign nuclear energy programs, and nuclear fuel cycle issues of a portfolio including high priority foreign programs at Headquarters and the national laboratories.

Dr. Hart holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University and advanced degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published academic articles and book chapters on unconventional reactors, nuclear economics, the nuclear fuel cycle and international energy development. Before her time at the Department, Dr. Hart was an Argonne National Laboratory employee working in nuclear technology, energy development and nonproliferation cooperation in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa and worked at the Idaho National Laboratory in the area of nuclear fuel cycle systems analysis.

Image courtesy of Afua Bruce

Facebook Live Career Connections Chat:

Afua Bruce, Chief Program Officer at DataKind
Tues., Feb. 23 at 7 pm
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About Afua Bruce:

Afua Bruce opens in a new window is the Chief Program Officer at DataKind opens in a new window, a global nonprofit that harnesses the power of data science and AI in the service of humanity. Afua leads DataKind’s product offerings, center of excellence, volunteer community, and chapter network to partner with social sector organizations. Prior to joining DataKind, Afua was the Director of Engineering for New America’s Public Interest Technology program. At New America, Afua oversaw projects in technology and policy to improve outcomes in criminal justice reform, foster care, immigration, the opioid epidemic, and more. She also supervised the Public Interest Technology University Network. Previously, she spent several years leading science and technology strategy and program management in the Federal government—as the Executive Director of the White House’s National Science and Technology Council and in a variety of positions at the FBI. Before joining the Federal government, she started her career as a software engineer at IBM. Afua holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Purdue University, and a MBA from the University of Michigan.

Exhibit spotlights:

Miniature Railroad & Village®

Image courtesy of Joshua Franzos

NEW MODEL!  The Hill District Home of Daisy Lampkin, a Famous Suffragist:

Daisy Lampkin, a dynamic Pittsburgh woman who was a leader in the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements and who lived on Webster Avenue in Pittsburgh for most of her adult life is the Miniature Railroad & Village honoree in 2020. Mrs. Lampkin started her public career in 1912 and her priorities were organizing efforts to end discrimination against and oppression of all African Americans and specifically Black women. She was active in many civil, political, community, and church-affiliated groups and blazed the trail for women in the National Republican Party and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. During her tenure as a stockholder and executive at the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper, she led it to become the most widely distributed Black publication in the nation. Mrs. Lampkin also led a fundraising effort in Allegheny County to raise $2 million in war bonds to support the United States during WWII. A model of the Lampkin’s three-story home in the Hill District — which served as her headquarters for teas, meetings, and strategic planning —and a figure in her likeness are now on display in the Miniature Railroad. She made an indelible mark on the future of Black Americans and American history, and the Science Center is proud to recognize her legacy in this way.

Image courtesy of Joshua Franzos

Pittsburgh Courier Building:

The Pittsburgh Courier, published in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, had a national and international importance far beyond its home in the city’s “Little Harlem” neighborhood. From 1910 until his death in 1940, Robert Lee Vann served as editor and owner of the noted newspaper. He brought aboard many talented staff to achieve his dream of a successful Black newspaper in Pittsburgh, and its circulation skyrocketed. A crusading weekly that advocated for racial equality, the Courier achieved a circulation of 400,000 by 1947. This building was later demolished, and the model had to be reconstructed from views in old photographs to add this story to the experience of the Miniature Railroad & Village®.

Image courtesy of Joshua Franzos

The LeMoyne House:

The LeMoyne House is a two-story sandstone structure built in 1812 by Dr. F. Julius LeMoyne in Washington, PA, about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Though many additions and changes have been made to the building, the replica is based on its original design and features the distinctive rooftop garden where Dr. LeMoyne grew medicinal herbs and raised honeybees. Not only was he a successful physician, Dr. LeMoyne and his family were very active in the Underground Railroad, and his house served as the epicenter of antislavery activity in southwestern Pennsylvania from the 1830s through the abolition of slavery.

Model of the Crawford Grill

Crawford Grill:

In addition to the world-class jazz that became its claim to fame, Crawford Grill was also equal parts town hall, boardroom, and bank. Crawford Grill opened in the early 1930s under Gus Greenlee, a money lender and numbers runner who also turned the Pittsburgh Crawfords into a winning Negro League baseball team. The restaurant had three floors, the second with a glass-topped bar and a revolving stage for musicians playing the famous mirrored upright piano. Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay dubbed the Grill the “crossroads of the world” for its many headliners, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and countless others, who often showed up at the Crawford Grill for a visit and usually a jam session after performances in prestigious downtown theaters.

Model of Ebenezer Baptist Church

Ebenezer Baptist Church:

When the Ebenezer Baptist Church burned down in the Hill District in 2004, it sent shockwaves through the community. Ebenezer Baptist is the oldest Black Baptist congregation in Pittsburgh and the first to own a church building—its origins can be traced back to 1875. Ebenezer Baptist Church stood as a pillar for the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement in the United States. In 1932, the church hosted the National Urban League Conference. The Urban League was founded in New York City in 1910 to help Black migrants from rural areas adjust to city life, but over the years it has expanded its focus to include a wide array of economic and social issues facing the Black community. Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesse Jackson both gave speeches at the church.

Two firefighters lost their lives when the belltower collapsed as the crew fought the blaze. To honor those firefighters, the Miniature Railroad staff constructed the model’s belltower with scorched wood from the original structure. The model also houses a small time capsule with fire fighter patches and remembrances from the congregation and community.

Live Demonstration Shows:

Buhl Planetarium

Story Time Under the Stars
View our Daily Calendar for show times!

Early learners and their grown-ups are invited to celebrate diversity and enjoy science-themed stories under a starry sky! Settle in and watch the sunset. Relax under a starlit sky as our planetarium educators read stories under a bright and beaming Moon.

Plan your on-site visit:

View our Daily Calendar for show times as you plan your day. Building capacity is limited to 15% to ensure ample social distancing in our wide-open galleries. Our mask policy is strictly enforced, and we have enhanced surface cleaning and increased fresh airflow in the building. In addition, our air-filtration system exceeds American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE) recommendations. You and everyone in your group will also undergo temperature checks using a touchless thermometer. Timed tickets required for entry. Buy yours today!

Web banner image credits:
Katherine Johnson (Image credit: NASA); Mae Jemison (Image credit: NASA); Mary Jackson (Image credit: NASA); Percy Julian (Image courtesy of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Glen); Percy Julian (Image credit: The United States Postal Service); Neil deGrasse Tyson (Image credit: Neil deGrasse Tyson); Emmett Chapelle (Image credit: NASA)