Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about these five women who have had significant impacts on the landscape of the educational and STEM fields.
Many of the advances in modern science and technology we have today would not be possible without the work of Marie Curie. Marie is one of the most frequently studied and well-known pioneers in science and education. Born in 1867, Marie had to overcome the obstacles continually placed in her way simply because she was a woman and became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in two subject areas – Physics and Chemistry. Her research advanced the field of radioactivity, X-ray equipment, and modern medicine.
Before she became president of Alabama State University in 2014, Dr. Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd dedicated her life to the field of STEM education. She became the first African-American female to earn her Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University. Her work at the John Hopkins University Applied PHysilca Lab (APL) included engineering evaluations and analysis of the Strategic Weapons Systems on US military submarines – Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident. She has been a champion in education and a lifelong advocate of introducing children to STEM concepts at an early age.
Current President and CEO of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer has faced criticism at every turn – but let’s not forget where she started. Marissa was Google’s first female engineer, joining the team in 1999 when the company was not yet a household name. Over the years, she became a key person in the development of some of the Google brands we use every day including Google Earth, Google Maps, Local Search, Street View and Gmail and was one of the youngest members of their executive team before she moved to Yahoo! in 2012.
Samantha John is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Hopscotch, an app that allows kids to make their own games, stories or animations while learning the basic concepts of code. Hopscotch is a free app with in-app purchases, but is a game changer for introducing the power of code to young children. Hopscotch is great for boys and girls of all ages, but Samantha is also an advocate behind the Girls Who Code movement.
At only 18 years old Malala Yousafzai has paved the way for educational options for women around the world. Living in Pakistan, a country under Taliban control, Malala was attacked for speaking up in favor of a young girls basic right to education. Since 2009, she has become an international activist for women’s education a passion that began when the BBC approached her family looking for an author for an anonymous diary detailing life under Taliban rule. Since then she and spoken at the United Nations, has a foundation in her name and was the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
What women inspire you to achieve great things? Let us know!