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Article Archive >> Featured Topics

Student Looks Back to Move Forward

Photo Captions
1) Jonathan Pride, age 11, demonstrates the science project he built to illustrate the use of carbon filament to produce a source of light.
2) Jonathan Pride introduces the audience at the Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc. to the life and work of Lewis Howard Latimer, a Black American inventor.


Student Looks Back to Move Forward
By Faith Johnson Crumbly

Jonathan Pride excels in math and science and is a whiz at building stunning Lego creations. So a school assignment to report on a famous inventor enabled Jonathan to focus on his interests. Yet this decision moved him farther along than he had initially anticipated.
"I wanted to learn how men and women in past generations had creatively used their skills in science and math to make life easier and more pleasant for many people," he said. He teamed up with his father, Ron, to do the research.
Jonathan chose who he considered to be a perfect subject to capture the attention of his classmates, Lewis Howard Latimer, a pioneer in the development of the electric light bulb.
Focus on this subject also would enable Jonathan to successfully engage in problem solving, another of his interests, in order to complete a project to highlight his presentation.
When Ron Lytle, founder of the Contemporary School of the Arts Gallery, Inc., invited the Pride family to make a presentation for Black History Month, Jonathan accepted the invitation. He would speak about Lewis Howard Latimer, the only Black American member of Thomas A. Edison's research team of noted scientists. Latimer was a member of the Edison Pioneers and had developed and patented the process for manufacturing carbon filaments.
"Mr. Latimer was the son of runaway slaves," Jonathan told his audience. "He is an example of someone making good decisions to use their talents."
The 11-year-old appeared quite at ease as he shared the information he had uncovered, exhibited his project, and fielded questions from the audience.
Jonathan's parents credit this in part to the fact that he has participated in other programs at the Gallery and has had his art displayed there.
Looking back had prepared Jonathan for the opportunity to present his science work during Black History Month. He welcomed this opportunity to express appreciation for the work of Dr. Martin Luther King who "had opened many doors for me to fulfill my dreams and reach my potential."
Developing his skills to fulfill both the school project and public speaking event for Black History Month are steps forward in Jonathan's goal of becoming a member of the United States Senate.

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