February is Black History Month. Learn more about some of the many African American scientists and engineers who have made important contributions to science history.

Photo collage of eight African American scientists and engineers

Black History Month: 28 Scientists to learn more about!

Update! This post has been updated for 2021 to include additional African American scientists and engineers.

In honor of Black History Month, we highlight 28 African American scientists and engineers who made important contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). There are many, many scientists who could be included on this list! The list below is just a sampling of noted scientists through history.

To encourage students to learn more about these scientists and to explore related science projects and careers for scientists they find inspiring, for each scientist, we have included a short biographical highlight, links to hands-on science projects related to the scientist's area of study, links to relevant science career profiles, and a link to a biography for further reading.

Note: Educators can use this career worksheet to guide student exploration and reflection about STEM careers.

Further Reading

Counting on Katherine cover Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions cover The Girl With a Mind for Math cover The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes cover Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan cover Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner cover Changing the Equation cover Mae Among the Stars cover Tick Tock Banneker's Clock cover

Elementary School

Middle School

High School and Adult

Gary and the Great Inventors: It's Laundry Day! Great Black Heroes: Five Brilliant Scientists: Five Brilliant Scientists cover Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race cover Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer cover

For additional STEM reading suggestions, see our STEM reading list.

STEM Career Worksheet

To encourage students to learn more about these scientists and to explore related careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, use our free STEM Career Worksheet along with this post.

If you use the "Learn More About these 28 Scientists for Black History Month" resource and career worksheet with students, we would love to hear your feedback. You can email us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org with your comments or story.

Diversity in STEM

It is important for all students to be aware of diversity in STEM. This includes celebrating stories of African American scientists and engineers, women in science, scientists with disabilities, and scientists from around the world (like Hispanic Scientists and Engineers).



Images: public domain or fair use, with exception of Bettye Greene (Science Institute), J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. (Dan Dry, CC BY-SA 3.0), Mark Dean (Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee); Herman Branson (AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection).

Links to books at Amazon.com are affiliate links.

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