A bright student at Palmer Elementary School may be continuing her great-grandmother’s legacy by astronomically excelling in mathematics.
Na Kia Boykin is the great-granddaughter of NASA Langley’s “human computer” Katherine Johnson and she’s scored a perfect 600 on her math Standards of Learning test. The third-grader was recently honored by her school.
“I like math because I can look at a problem and figure it out,” Boykin told the Daily Press. “You can just look at the problem and do it. You use the numbers, and you use your brain … It’s a good challenge.”
The third-grader was one of 59 Newport News, Virginia, elementary school students to receive a perfect score on the math Standards of Learning test.
Johnson who is one of America’s most iconic African-American figures and inspires young girls to take up studies in mathematics and engineering. In the movie “Hidden Figures,” Johnson who was played by Taraji P. Henson, was considered a walking “human computer.”
Boykin highlighted her great-grandmother’s love for science and math. Her father Douglas Boykin, which is Johnson’s middle daughter’s son, said his daughter aimed for a perfect score on her test.
‘I told her she would get a 500 at least, but I said, ‘Don’t be disappointed if you get a 585 or something,’” he expressed. “She came in the door the next day and said ‘What do you think I got?’’ I said, ‘585.’ She exclaimed, ‘Higher than that.’”
“Finally she said, ‘I got all of ‘em! I got a perfect 600!’ And I started screaming like it was the Super Bowl,” expressed the proud father.
Johnson, unfortunately, couldn’t attend Na Kia’s assembly.
However, Douglas Boykin said the young girl looks up to her great-grandmother.
“My grandmother is getting up there, and they’re not the same conversations that I had with her growing up, but it means a lot to Na Kia,” Douglas Boykin said. “My grandmother always says that learning is a lifetime, and Na Kia knows this is just the beginning.”
The third-grader expressed her desire to become a teacher and will be attending a science camp over the summer in New Orleans.
“I always want to be helping other people learn,” Na Kia said. ‘And I want everyone to know me when they see me. I want people to say, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Na Kia Boykin!’” (NNPA)