Just days after pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson received a well-deserved standing ovation at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, LEGO announced that she will be included in its new “Women of NASA” collection. The Oscar nominated film, “Hidden Figures” was inspired by Johnson’s incredible life and contributions to NASA’s space program, which included calculating historic flight trajectories for the first American to go into space, the first American to orbit earth, and the first human trip to the moon. Taraji P. Henson portrayed Johnson in the film; Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer starred alongside Henson, playing Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, the two other Black women who helped send NASA to space.
Johnson will be transformed into a LEGO figure along with Sally Ride (the first American woman to travel into space), Mae Jemison (the first African American woman to travel into space), computer scientist Margaret Hamilton and astronomer Nancy Grace Roman.
The toy company runs a biannual competition called “Lego Ideas”, which allows their fans to submit designs. Its winning design, “Women of NASA”, was created by another woman in STEM, Maia Weinstock, who is a science writer and Deputy Editor at MIT News.
The “Women of NASA” collection is set to be available later this year or early 2018.