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Mae Jemison Facts For Kids

Mae Jemison is arguably one of the most interesting astronauts in the world. In addition to being the first black woman to go to space, Mae Jemison is a doctor, engineer, and inspiration to women and young girls all over the world.

Her career has taken her across the world and outside of it, and we’re going to tell you more about her in this article.

Also Read: 27 Famous Scientists for Kids

Let’s take a closer look at her life and achievements. 

Fun Mae Jemison Facts for Kids

Mae Jemison has always loved science. 

Mae Jemison has always loved science

Mae Jemison loved science ever since she was a child. Before applying to NASA and going to space, she went to Stanford and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. In elementary school, her teachers didn’t believe that she had the ability to become a scientist. However, she firmly believed in herself, and her drive to prove them wrong helped her achieve academic success when she got older. 

She is a doctor. 

Mae Jemison - a Doctor

After graduating from Stanford, Mae Jemison went on to study medicine at the prestigious Cornell Medical School. Her education at an Ivy League institution took her to Asia and Africa, where she worked at refugee camps and non-profit organizations. When she finished her medical degree, Jemison worked as a medical officer for the Peace Corps in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Her job was to conduct research on vaccines, write manuals, provide medical care, and supervise the pharmacy. 

She is a trained dancer. 

In addition to her experience in the field of science, Mae Jemison is also an experienced dancer. She has been dancing since she was about eight years old, and has trained in many different styles of dance throughout her life. She started out as a ballet dancer when she was a child and went on to learn jazz and modern. Jemison also learned how to do Japanese and African styles of dance in her teenage years. Her dancing didn’t stop when she went to college either! Mae Jemison choreographed music and took dance lessons at Stanford and Cornell respectively. 

Mae Jemison is a huge fan of Star Trek. 

Mae Jemison belongs to the group of millions that are fans of the Star Trek series. The show was one of her main sources of inspiration to pursue science and go to space. Several years after her career began, she guest starred on the show in the role of Lieutenant Palmer in an episode called Second Chances. Her role marked the first time a real-life astronaut starred on the show! Her love for the show is also reflected in her space mission. Mae was assigned a shift on the space shuttle called the Blue Shift, and she would open communication with the rest of her team by saying “Hailing frequencies open,” which is a Star Trek quote.  

Mae Jemison was chosen out of thousands of people to go to space. 

Mae Jemison - chosen among the thousands

Going to space isn’t an easy thing to do, but Mae Jemison proved that going there is possible if you’re smart and determined! She joined NASA’s astronaut program in 1987. She was inspired to apply to the program after seeing Guion Bluford and Sally Ride go to space. After NASA postponed the process of selecting new candidates, Jemison applied to the astronaut program a second time and was chosen out of a group of more than 1,500 candidates. 

Her mission in space lasted almost 200 hours. 

After Mae Jemison was selected and trained to go to space, she went on her first and only mission. She went on the space shuttle named STS-47 with a crew of 7 people. The group also included Mamoru Mohri, who was the first Japanese man in this shuttle, and Mark C. Lee and N. Jan, who were the only married couple to go against NASA policy and go into space. Their mission was close to eight days long and they complete 126 orbits around the earth. 

Jemison conducted multiple experiments on the space shuttle. 

conducted multiple experiments on the space shuttle

Her journey to outer space meant that she worked on different experiments in the space shuttle. One of her tasks was to test NASA’s Fluid Therapy System. The goal of the experiment was to follow a series of procedures to procure water for injections, while also producing saline solution in space. She also worked closely on female frogs by inducing them to ovulate. After they ovulated and their eggs became fertilized, she studied the tadpoles and assessed their development in zero gravity. 

Mae Jemison owns her own company. 

After her mission at NASA, Mae Jemison left the organization to start her own company. It is called The Jemison Group Inc., and its aim is to study design and technology’s sociocultural impact. She founded the company back in 1993. 

She has worked extensively in the field of academia. 

From the time she started a professional career, Mae Jemison has worked extensively in multiple fields, one of which is academia. She taught environmental studies at Dartmouth for seven years and held the position of professor. During her time at Dartmouth, Jemison also worked as an Andrew D. White professor-at-large at Cornell University. 

She has won over 15 awards for her various accomplishments. 

won over 15 awards

Mae Jemison has been awarded and honored multiple times throughout her career. Some of her achievements include the 2004 International Space Hall of Fame award, the 1993 National Women’s Hall of Fame award, the 1990 Gamma Sigma Sigma Woman of the Year, and the 2021 Sylvanus Thayer Award from the United States Military Academy. In addition to the awards, she has also received several honorary doctorates, including the 2000 Doctor of Humanities from Princeton University and the 2009 Doctor of Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. 

Mae Jemison carried personal items of inspiration into space.

Going into outer space can be scary, especially if it’s your first mission. When Mae Jemison went into outer space, she carried a few items that reminded her of where she came from and that provided some inspiration while she was on her mission. One of the items she carried included an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater poster, from when she took dance lessons during her years at Cornell medical school. She also carried a Micheal Jordan jersey and a photograph of Bessie Coleman. Coleman was the first African-American aviator to hold an international pilot license. 

Mae Jemison is a published author. 

In addition to the many hats she wears already, Mae Jemison is a respected and published author. She wrote her first book in 2001. It was a memoir for children about her life, and in it, she talked about her childhood, becoming an astronaut, studying at Stanford, and working in the Peace Corps. She went on to write a series of four children’s books in 2013; the series was called A True Book. Jemison co-wrote the books with Dana Meachen Rau. 

Also Read: Carl Sagan Facts


This article talked about Mae Jemison, a woman who has achieved more than what many of us dream about throughout the course of her career. She has worked as a doctor, author, dancer, engineer, and astronaut, and it doesn’t seem as though she has any intentions of stopping any time soon. Our article walked you through a list of 12 facts about her achievements and accomplishments. In addition to teaching you more about Mae Jemison, we hope that it inspired you to go out into the world and achieve your dreams.