Mae Jemison Science Reading Room

Mae Jemison Science Reading Room


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Black History Month Researching African American Family History

One afternoon at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, a visitor was reading out loud the names of family members he discovered in a historical record. On the other side of the museum’s Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center, another visitor’s ears perked up. She knew those names. She didn’t know the person reading them, but she knew those names. They were also from her family tree.

Explore how the Smithsonian can help research African American family history.
Celebrating World Radio Day

World Radio Day is an international day celebrated every year on February 13. Learn the important role radio still plays today.
“Being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from,” Toni Morrison said in an interview with the New Yorker. “It doesn’t limit my imagination; it expands it.” Black women in the United States are transforming the literary world as writers, publishers, magazine editors and academics.
Here are six Black women who have changed the landscape of modern American literary culture.
Ted DeLaney arrived at Washington and Lee University as a janitor. By the time he left, he’d been chairman of its history department. DeLaney’s story is extraordinary, but his path is one shared by millions of Black Americans: Overcome prejudice, seize new opportunities, and contribute to your community and your nation.
Most people have heard about famous inventions like the light bulb, the cotton gin and the iPhone. But there are countless other, often overlooked inventions that make our daily lives easier. Among the creative innovators behind these devices are African American inventors. From the traffic light to the ironing board, see a list of products that have sprung from the minds of Black inventors.
The celebration of the contributions of African Americans began in 1926 with Negro History Week (using the term that was later replaced by “Black” or “African American”).
The week was timed to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln, signer of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Frederick Douglass, who fought against slavery and became a social reformer after his own escape from enslavement. The week was the brainchild of historian Carter G. Woodson, who looked to the day when the accomplishments of Black people would be celebrated all year long.
Understanding Human Rights

Advocating for human rights requires educating oneself on human rights principles and how the principles are applied within your community.

Are you ready to stand for all? Start with the course, "Understanding Human Rights":

U.S. Embassy and University of Pretoria partnership in Mamelodi to support science education & foste The science of fun!

Operating as usual

Photos from US Embassy South Africa's post 18/09/2023
Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 12/09/2023

American Spaces Mae Jemison held their third week of Food and Gardening Initiative in collaboration with Ranyaka NGO.The students used car tyres to plant their vegetables.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 08/09/2023

American Spaces Mae Jemison hosted an AFS film screening and discussion The Misfits. The film follows an all-girls robotics team based in San Francisco that is taking on the male-dominated field of engineering. The discussion was facilitated by Prince Mavundla, American Spaces Mae Jemison Coordinator and our special guest Morongoa Mothiba, Emerging Voices Coordinator from U.S. Embassy Pretoria who spoke to the learners about different exchange programs that the U.S. Embassy offers.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 31/08/2023

American Spaces Mae Jemison yesterday hosted a program on Women’s Socio-Ecomonic Rights and Empowerment in collaboration with Sci-Enza Science Centre. The program was attended by students from different schools around Mamelodi.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 29/08/2023

Our programs at American Spaces Mae Jemison this week.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 29/08/2023

American Spaces Mae Jemison in collaboration with Ranyaka NGO held their weekly food and gardening initiative were they teach students on how to grow their own vegetables garden using plastic bottles.


Calling all female business owners with a unique, innovative and tangible design or craft product!

Applications are now open for the Business of Creative Entrepreneurship (BCE) program, which will equip you with the tools to make your craft profitable and ready for export.

Follow the link below to apply
Deadline for Application is Friday, August 25th.


A lot of history happened on July 4

Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because that’s when, in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, eventually transforming 13 English colonies into the United States of America.

Honoring Pride worldwide [photo gallery] 29/06/2023

Honoring Pride Worldwide

LGBTQI+ Pride is often recognized through protests, festivals, parades and other events to celebrate LGBTQI+ history, culture and activism.

The first Pride march in New York City — and one of the earliest major Pride events — occurred in June 1970. It marked the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn — a popular bar with the LGBTQI+ community — and patrons resisted.

Honoring Pride worldwide [photo gallery] Today's Pride events celebrate diversity and emphasize the LGBTQI+ community's desire for equal rights and justice.

2023 Fellows Arrive in the United States 26/06/2023

26 June We're pleased to welcome the 2023 cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship to the United States! Accomplished in their careers and dedicated to serving their communities, represent the geographic, cultural, and racial diversity of Africa. Learn more about this year's Fellows:

2023 Fellows Arrive in the United States The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to welcome the 2023 cohort of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders to the United States.


Are you a high school student yearning to study in the United States of America(USA)?

The Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange Study Program (KL-YES Program) provides 12 high school students have the opportunity to study in the US for a 10 month scholarship. Time is running out so make sure your application is completed before 29 July 2023.

Innovation and Community Impact: One Leader's Journey 31/05/2023

Innovation and Community Impact: One Leader’s Journey

I firmly believe that each of us has the power to make a positive
impact on our communities, no matter how big or small." Read 2021 Leadership Impact Award winner Ian Tarimo’s reflections on meeting U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and his leadership
journey with the Fellowship:

Innovation and Community Impact: One Leader's Journey Read 2021 Leadership Impact Award winner Ian Tarimo’s reflections on meeting U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and his leadership journey with the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 03/05/2023

Girls Fly Programme Africa Foundation (GFPA) presents Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Awareness with a focus on Aviation and aerospace at American Spaces Mae Jemison.

The students were exposed to different careers in aviation and how to be a drone pilot. 🛩🛩🛩


Interested in learning more about studying in America? Well…March is Women's History Month and we are commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Join us as we discuss Women’s colleges with guest speakers from Barnard College (New York) and Cottey College (Missouri). Sign up HERE to join

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 28/02/2023

American Corner Mae Jemison had a privilege of hosting Elliot Chiu, who is an attorney adviser in L/PD, where he supports the PD family on a range of issues, to include those relating to press and public engagement and Sarah Bashadi, who serves as an attorney adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser, where she advises the Bereau of Education and Cultural Affairs. The students were advised about different fields of Law and how long it takes to be a qualified attorney.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 24/02/2023

On Wednesday 22 February we celebrated Black History Month by having a screening and discussion of the movie The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks. The discussion was led by Heather Wright, Public Diplomacy Officer for Emerging Voices at U.S. Embassy Pretoria.


YALI Course: Understanding Climate Change

Find out how climate change occurs, the impact it has on the environment and human development, and the practical and innovative solutions to address its causes. #/


We’re excited to announce the launch of a new virtual course for Fellowship Alumni next Wednesday, February 8! In partnership with IREX’s Securing Access to Free Expression (SAFE) program, "Protection and Resilience: A Holistic Approach to Digital, Physical, and Psychosocial Safety" will help Alumni learn to manage and mitigate risks in their work and personal lives. Register on the Fellowship Portal today:

Log In - Mandela Washington Fellowship Join the Fellowship Portal Are you an Alumnus/a/i, Reciprocal Exchange Participant, or Partner looking to join the Fellowship Portal? Sign up to get access to exclusive courses, connect with the community on Givitas, and more.

YALI4Youth 20/01/2023

Mentorship can take different forms: personal mentorship, professional mentorship, or mentorship from one entrepreneur to another. In this toolkit, you'll learn how to plan community activities focused on various aspects of youth mentorship. Get started at

YALI4Youth YALI4Youth focuses on training effective youth mentors to empower youth to develop their personal and professional skills and become successful leaders.


It's FarmCraft Season!

Farmcraft 2023 participants are challenged to think creatively, enhance their teamwork skills, be exposed to careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), all while playing an on-line game using the Minecraft platform! Participants will focus on the importance of food security by sustainably growing crops in a virtual environment that mimics real-life agricultural problems, while also learning to move food from farm to market. Participants can learn more and register as teams sponsored by American Spaces @ Farmcraft (! The Farmcraft® 2023 Pre-Season Kickoff takes place via livestream (link) on February 2, 2023!

The Lazy Makoti creator bags her third Gourmand World Cookbook Award 19/01/2023

What started out as cooking lessons for a friend has developed into a brand and platform for chef and 2016 Fellowship Alumna Mogau Seshoene.

Learn more about her culinary and entrepreneurship journeys:

The Lazy Makoti creator bags her third Gourmand World Cookbook Award Chef Mogau Seshoene reflects on her culinary journey as she receives her third Gourmand World Cookbook Award for her cookbook, Hosting With The Lazy Makoti.

Lesson 2: Encouraging Skills Development 18/01/2023

Lesson 2: Encouraging Skills Development This lesson looks at the best practices for developing skills such as emotional intelligence, communication, teamwork, leadership and project management in y...

Can a name become a metaphor for civil rights? 17/01/2023

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, organized by Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders, propelled the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed practices that had denied Blacks’ right to vote.

See how Martin Luther King’s name has come to symbolize civil rights in the United States.

Can a name become a metaphor for civil rights? Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy lives on in the U.S. in part through thousands of things named after him. Learn how that tradition began.

YALI Voices Podcast: Ebrima Sonko on Social Justice, Fairness, and Equity 26/11/2022

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


Ebrima Sonko is working to transform The Gambia by bringing about changes to address gender-based violence and political transparency.

YALI Voices Podcast: Ebrima Sonko on Social Justice, Fairness, and Equity ",c,">"].join("")}var c="body",e=h[c];if(!e)return setTimeout(q,100);a.P(1);var d="appendChild",g="createElement",i="src",k=h[g]("div"),l=k[d](h[g]("div")),f=h[g]("iframe"),n="document",p;"none";e.insertBefore(k,e.firstChild).id=o+"-"+j;f.frameBorder="0";"-frame-"+j;/MSIE[ ]+6...

A photographic history of America's Thanksgiving parade 24/11/2022

A photographic history of America’s Thanksgiving parade

While waiting for the turkey roasting in the oven for their Thanksgiving dinner, many Americans watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television or the internet. And millions forgo the comfort of their homes to get in on the excitement by lining the parade route along New York City streets.

A photographic history of America's Thanksgiving parade Did you know that the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has European origins? Learn more about this and other interesting parade facts.


MentorTalks: Making it in the Marvel Universe with Shehzil Malik

On Wednesday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m. ET (4pm South Africa Time), join us for a special, mini episode of and find out the story behind Shehzil’s journey into the Marvel universe, how she uses illustration to inspire social and political change in her home country, and why more creators should take a chance and apply for a Fulbright Scholarship.

Watch it on or

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 25/10/2022

Today Mae J hosted a program called chat with a diplomat, the topic was on Cyber Security. The program was to teach high school learners about the importance of taking care of your electronic devices so that you don't get hacked. The program was facilitated by a U.S Mission Speaker.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 19/10/2022

Mae J hosted a program on sustainable development goals and space exploration in South Africa with Sci-Enza Science Centre🚀🛰️

2022 Ignite Talk - Kelvin Ashie, The University of Texas at Austin 12/10/2022

"Over 25% of the global disease burden is faced by Africa, yet Africa commits only 2% of its expenditure to its healthcare sector." In Kelvin Ashie's Ignite Talk, he shares how his organization, Health Direct Global, is leveraging micro-insurance to connect users in Ghana to timely, quality medical care.
Watch now:

2022 Ignite Talk - Kelvin Ashie, The University of Texas at Austin

Working to stop food waste 29/09/2022

Food waste happens when grocery stores throw out "ugly" produce or expired food because consumers don't buy it. Several U.S. organizations are working to change that.

Working to stop food waste Learn how U.S. organizations are helping to save food from being wasted, which helps to feed communities and save the environment.

Photos from Mae Jemison Science Reading Room's post 25/09/2022

We had a privilege of hosting the U.S. Airforce Band in Europe Wings of Swing in collaboration with the University of Pretoria Mamelodi campus on the 23 September to celebrate Heritage Day. The event was attended by the U.S. Embassy staff, University of Pretoria management, students and teachers from Ribane Laka, Gatang, Somafco, Phateng and Stanza Bopape Secondary schools.

YALI Voices Podcast: Melene Rossouw’s Movement for Women’s Leadership in South Africa 19/09/2022


Listen to this podcast to find out how Melene is facilitating community change and overcoming the challenges of achieving gender equality and civic engagement.

YALI Voices Podcast: Melene Rossouw’s Movement for Women’s Leadership in South Africa ",c,">"].join("")}var c="body",e=h[c];if(!e)return setTimeout(q,100);a.P(1);var d="appendChild",g="createElement",i="src",k=h[g]("div"),l=k[d](h[g]("div")),f=h[g]("iframe"),n="document",p;"none";e.insertBefore(k,e.firstChild).id=o+"-"+j;f.frameBorder="0";"-frame-"+j;/MSIE[ ]+6...

Youth are the Future of Democracy, Just Ask Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield 16/09/2022


International Day of Democracy took centre stage on 15 September, but the quest for civil rights for all continues.
Take a look back at US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s Youth Town Hall with youth ambassadors from 60 different countries during the final day of the Summit for Democracy

Youth are the Future of Democracy, Just Ask Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield conducted a Youth Town Hall with youth ambassadors for the Summit of Democracy.

Meet the first Hispanic woman to serve as a U.S. college president 14/09/2022

Meet the first Hispanic woman to be a college president

In July, Garcia was one of 17 people to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Biden at the White House.

Read more on Garcia’s story and how she oversaw the merger of Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas

Meet the first Hispanic woman to serve as a U.S. college president Learn about Juliet Garcia's life, from her time as a university professor to her receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Videos (show all)

Artificial Intelligence and it's Role in the Society Programme
Food is medicine programme
Does English literacy still matter in the digital age program
Learn How To Better Cope With Mental Health
Is It More Fun To Watch Or Make Cartoons?
What is Safe Food Program?
Mae Jemison U.S Science Reading Room
Innovation & Inventions
How relevant is your science degree today?
Mae Jemison U.S Science Reading Room Space





University Of Pretoria Mamelodi Campus, Cnr Hans Strijdom & Hinterland Avenue, Mamelodi
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