From the moment I saw the previews for the film Hidden Figures, I knew it was a movie I wanted my 11 year-old daughter to see. First, my daughter is into science and engineering and I wanted her to see what real women have done in the field. Second, I wanted her to see a bit of history. After seeing the movie with her last weekend, Hidden Figures did not disappoint and exceeded my expectations.
Now, there are many historical movies out there about the space race, but few show the contributions females made. I want not only my daughter, but my son as well, to know that many people, from a variety of walks of life, have contributed to advancements in technology and science throughout history. As one would expect from the previews, Hidden Figures does depict the mathematical and engineering contributions of three gifted African-American women to NASA’s space program in the 1960’s and is fairly historically accurate. With that said, the movie was exactly as promoted and met what I wanted to show my daughter.
Though after seeing the film, Hidden Figures offers so much more for young people to learn or take away from the story than just knowing a bit more about history and the contributions women have made to it. It visually presents life lessons. More often than not kids need to see why certain words of wisdom are key and not just hear them, and Hidden Figures delivers a visual guide to why certain words of wisdom are so significant. Listed below are five lessons tweens and teens can gain from seeing Hidden Figures.
5 Lessons from Hidden Figures
Perseverance is importance.
Life is full of moments when a person wonders if all the roadblocks or steep climbs are worth it. Perseverance can go hand in hand with frustration and heartbreak, which can make the concept difficult for a young person to see as an important piece of wisdom when told to persevere. Hidden Figures demonstrates the perseverance of each of these women not only in regards to their professional life but also in their personal life. Tweens and teens have a chance to see that there may be times at their jobs and at home that they may need to persevere, but that their persistence is important to moving towards their goal, whatever it may be.
Anything worth having is worth working hard for it and putting in the extra time.
Hard work and sacrifice are words that do not sound like fun to a kid, or an adult for that matter, but are both needed to accomplish big things. Children can benefit from seeing that things that are meaningful and substantial require more time and effort. Hidden Figures doesn’t shy away from showing the sacrifice and hard work of these women, and the film in many ways is better because of it. Young viewers can learn so much by seeing how these determined individuals’ hard work and long hours made all the difference.
Never stop learning.
Kids probably hear “Be a lifelong learner.” often at school, and this film demonstrates beautifully why that phrase is so important. No matter what field students eventually pursue or end up in, they will always need to be learning something new to do their job. A key part of continual learning is to look ahead to see what is coming and stay ahead of things, not just current with them. Again, Hidden Figures perfectly depicts the importance of this.
There will be days that you won’t be the smartest or most knowledgeable in the room, and that is okay.
Many people are put on the defense when they realize they may not be on equal or higher footing than others in a room or group, and respond by trying to elevate themselves or put the smarter person down. Is this right? No. Though it does happen more often than people want to admit, and it is important to teach today’s youth how to handle these moments in a more positive manner. As the movie shows, it is better to embrace another’s strength and learn from them and bring yourself up, then ignore their talents and bring yourself and the entire group down.
Failure is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean to stop trying.
Failure is hard no matter who you are. It is crucial for success in life to learn how to fail and move forward in a positive way. Hidden Figures so wonderfully portrays these words of wisdom as it presents how failure can drive final success. During the film, so many characters are shown experiencing failure and how they worked to find success. Children can benefit from seeing how to fail in a big way, yet not give up, and Hidden Figures gives young viewers that inside look at a time in our country’s history where failing was necessary to succeed.