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IDS 403 - Technology and Society

Course guide developed specifically for IDS 403 to help support the research and learning processes.


To get you started in thinking how your topic might be looked at through the historical lens, let's use the topic of the Endeavor space exploration in September of 1992. Learning more about the topic and about Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space aboard that mission, is vital to building a strong understanding of the event. This understanding will help you determine what avenues to explore inside of each lens. A  secondary resource like the encyclopedia articles Space program. In The Reader's companion to American history This link opens in a new window and Endeavour In The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia with atlas and weather guide This link opens in a new window or primary sources searches of images from the NASA archives This link opens in a new window from Jemison's mission STS-47 can provide insights into the event as it occurred at that time.


Mae Jemison (1956--). (2012). In L. Bracks, African American almanac : 400 years of triumph, courage and excellence . Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press. 


To begin to analyze this event like a historian, what would be some questions that we could ask? Here are some ideas:

  • What was happening during the late 1980's that influenced the Endeavour's flight?
  • What technological advances are seen in the Endeavour? Which technological advances were key to the success of the Endeavor's mission?
  • What technological advances were possible because of the Endeavor?

To learn more about the history of technology in space, watch Fight For Space This link opens in a new window on Kanopy.

video screen grab: Fight for space

Suggested Databases

The list below are some examples of the library's databases that you could use to search for primary and secondary sources on NASA, the Endeavour, and Mae Jemison.