Program Flyer: The Courageous Chemistry of Dr. Percy Julian -- Author Kerrie Hollihan (STEM and NGSS aligned)

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Contact Information
Kerrie Hollihan
302 Pondside Drive
White Plains, NY  10607
Phone: (513) 254-8181
Program Title
The Courageous Chemistry of Dr. Percy Julian -- Author Kerrie Hollihan (STEM and NGSS aligned)
Program Type
Individual Program
Program Rating
This program has not yet been evaluated.
Target Audience
Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons
Maximum Number of Participants
There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 30 students.
Minimum Number of Participants
Primary Disciplines
Social Studies/History, Sciences, Character Education
Program Description
This program introduces students to the life and achievements of Dr. Percy Lavon Julian, a plant chemist who became the first African-American chemist elected to the National Academy of Sciences. As the scientific heir to George Washington Carver, he synthesized chemical compounds from beans to treat rheumatoid arthritis (cortisone), blindness (physostigmine) and miscarriage (progesterone). Among his 105 patents was a firefighting chemical that saved sailors and airmen at war, as well as one that made book pages easier to turn. He became one of the first African-Americans to work in private industry, and eventually he built his own company.

Julian overcame racism his entire life -- as a student, a professional, and a family man. His house in Oak Park, Illinois, where we were neighbors, was firebombed in 1951. In 1968, he intervened during a student sit-in at Howard University and helped to see it through to a peaceful end.
Program Format
Kerrie opens the program by recalling a walk with her own father and asking who lived in the house behind the big iron fence His answer: "That's Dr. Julian....a scientist." Years later, Hollihan embarked on her writing career by researching and writing a manuscript about Dr. Julian -- an answer to a lifelong wish to write books.

Kerrie then questions participants: What's your biggest wish? Older students will be challenged to take the question farther: How will you fulfill that wish?

Kerrie will present the life and work of Dr. Percy Lavon Julian (tailored to younger and older students) using slides and video to explain Julian's scientific and humanitarian achievements in context of American society and education from 1900 - 1976.

Students will be encouraged to ask questions during the presentation, and there will be time for a Q&A.
Students will discover the scientific genius and accomplishments of a little-known African-American whose work made a huge impact on both science and industry.

Students will compare the educational experiences of Percy Julian in a segregated school with their own classrooms and schools.

Students will grasp how minorities and women challenged segregation and gender discrimination in order to achieve their personal ambition to study and work in scientific fields during the 20th century.
National/Common Core Standards to which this program aligns
Science as Inquiry
Physical Science
Science & Technology
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
History and Nature of Science
U.S. History 5 - 12/ Eras 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; World History/ The 20th Century
Civics/ Values and Principles of Democracy

State/Regional Standards to which this program aligns
Kerrie will assist teachers in aligning this program to state standards.
Program Length
45 minutes for 3rd-4th grade; 1 hour for grades 5-8
Program Cost
Point to Point: $300.00
Point to Point Premium: $270.00
Program Fee Notes
Cancellation Policy
We will not charge for programs cancelled due to nature i.e. snow days. The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.
Is recording allowed?

Program Delivery Mode(s)

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For additional assistance, phone 507-388-3672.

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