Hispanic Americans have made big strides in science. They are inventors, astronauts, and more. September 15 to October 15 is a time to honor these people. It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! Check out some star scientists.
Victor Ochoa was born in 1850. He invented the Ochoa Plane. This flying machine had two bicycles with a motor. The plane had collapsible wings. Ochoa also created a motor, an electric brake, and a windmill!
Ynes Mexia loved plants. Born in 1870, she was a botanist. Mexia explored South America and Alaska. She got samples of plants. Mexia discovered more than 500 new plant types. Many of them are named after her!
Franklin Chang-Díaz was born in Costa Rica. He wanted to be an astronaut. When Chang-Díaz moved to the United States, he couldn’t speak English. But that didn’t hold him back. Chang-Díaz studied hard. In 1986, his dreams came true. He became the first Hispanic-American astronaut in space!
Ellen Ochoa is also an astronaut. In 1993, she became the first Hispanic woman in space. Ochoa spent nearly 1,000 hours in orbit. She also became the first Hispanic director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center! The leader is also an engineer.
Jaime Escalante was a great math teacher. He got a lot of attention in the 1980s. He was working at a high school in Los Angeles, California. The school was known for its difficult students. Some teachers had given up on the teens. But Escalante taught them well. His students passed a hard math test. A book and a movie told the story.
Updated September 24, 2018, 5:01 P.M. (ET)
By Ashley Morgan
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