Black History Month Day of Celebration 

Celebrate Black History Month | Feb. 3 | Free with general admission
Feb 3 2024 | 12 - 4pm

This event has concluded for 2024. Thank you for joining us.

The Franklin Institute Celebrates Black History Month  

From inspirational pioneers in engineering to courageous trailblazers in space, TFI celebrates the influential contributions of Black scientists, innovators, and engineers, both past and present.  

Throughout the month, images of notable African American achievers in science, including Astronaut Guion Bluford and NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson, as well as Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts and other local Philadelphians currently making waves in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, and medicine, will rotate on the screens in Franklin Hall and some throughout exhibit galleries.  

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Black History Month Day of Celebration  
Saturday, February 3 | 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

Join us for a day of celebration in recognition of Black History Month. Special programming includes live narration of The Sky Tonight in the Fels Planetarium by Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts, a lively performance of traditional West African and Afro-Cuban dances by Philly African Dance and Drum Ensemble Troupe Da Da, and celebrations of important STEM contributions made by African American scientists and inventors through storytelling, hip-hop music, and live demonstrations by Master Scientist Grand Hank, plus more. 

Special Guests
  • Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute
  • Troup Da Da was founded in 1992 by Renee “Oyin” Hardy, a native Philadelphian. Its mission is to represent West African and Cuban culture at the highest level of artistic excellence through preserving and presenting traditional dancing, music, and storytelling. Dressed in colorful, authentic costumes and singing in traditional African languages, the dancers move gracefully to the powerful rhythms of the Djembe, Dundun, Conga, and Bata drums and also play several African percussion instruments, such as the Sekere, Log Drums, and Talking drums from Nigeria. 
  • Master Scientist Grand Hank is known as one of the most preeminent and exciting keynote presenters in STEM education today. This former research chemist for Johnson & Johnson has combined his passion for science, hip-hop music, and multimedia production to motivate and inspire students globally in STEM.  
  • The Dox Thrash House Project aims to promote the equitable preservation of historic legacies in underserved communities and places by leveraging historic preservation as a tool to combat erasure and uplift the voices and narratives of the communities that have often been overlooked by typical historic preservation practice and policy. This year, the Dox Thrash House Project partners with Architecture + Design Education to educate the public about the value of architecture and design and to honor Dox Thrash's home and studio as a historic building with unique features.  
  • NextFab is a network of membership-based maker spaces that provide access to tools, technology, education, events, and services for makers and creatives. They offer a variety of education and startup programs, as well as professional design, production, and placemaking services for whatever your fabrication needs. 
  • Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey uses a whole-girl approach to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Girls learn to value themselves, take positive risks and develop their inherent strengths through a combination of research-based programs, mentoring relationships and a pro-girl environment. 
Schedule of Events
  • 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm:  
    • Design your own house with members of The Dox Thrash House Project | The Giant Heart  
    • Learn more about the organization, hear about their various program options and participate in a hands-on activity to experience an example of Girls Inc. in action. | The Giant Heart  
    • Nnennia Mazagwu (Laser Cutting/Design), Cherne Jean-Louis (Jewelry), Vivian N. Rowe (Metalworking, Floral), and Monique Disu Casey (Woodworking) from NextFab | Key Hallway 

  • 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm: The Sky Tonight, Fels Planetarium show with live narration by Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. 
  • 1:00 pm: Celebrating African American Scientists and Inventors Through Live STEM Demonstrations with Master Scientist Grand Hank.  
  • 2:00 pm: Performance by Troup Da Da | Atrium  
  • 3:00 pm: Celebrating African American Scientists and Inventors Through Live STEM Demonstrations with Master Scientist Grand Hank.  

All programming is free with museum admission.  

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