First graders at Conshohocken Elementary School made rockets to highlight Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut.

During Black History Month, students across the District are learning about famous African American leaders and heroes. At Conshohocken Elementary School (CE), students have taken time during morning meetings to talk about a variety of historical figures.

“It’s important to learn about different people, because some people did great things,” said CE first grader Archer Horne. “People like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., changed the world.”

In addition to the morning discussions, each grade at CE concentrated on one specific person who they explored more in depth through research, watching videos, writing and creating a piece of art. For the first graders, that person was Mae Jemison.

“We’re making rockets to celebrate Mae Jemison,” said CE first grader Riley Enoch. “She was the first African American woman to visit space.”

For the art project, the students used construction paper to make the rocket and drew a picture of Mae Jemison in a window. Then they added details like the NASA logo and American flag.

“I’m inspired by her, because she never gave up,” said CE first grader Joey Kilgallon. “Her teacher told her to be a nurse, but she wanted to be an astronaut. She followed her dream.”

In kindergarten, the children learned about Martin Luther King, Jr., and created “I Have A Dream” clouds. Second graders created story quilts after learning about artist Faith Ringgold, and third graders learned about cubist painter Jacob Lawrence and made paper cityscapes that featured people from Lawrence’s paintings.