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Women in STEM

Marie Curie overseeing her daughter use scientific instruments
Marie (right) and her daughter Irène (left)

Marie Curie

First female scientist

  • First woman to win a Nobel Prize

  • Marie Curie discovered two new elements, Polonium and Radium

  • Carried out revolutionary research into radioactivity

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

Valentina Tereshkova in uniform
Valentina Tereshkova in uniform

Valentina Tereshkova

First female astronaut

  • Went on a mission Vostok 6 which successfully orbited Earth 45 times

  • She stayed in outer space for 71 hours

“If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can’t they go to space?”

Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell

First female doctor

  • She received her medical degree in 1849 and was the first woman to do so

  • During the American Civil War, she trained nurses to take care of the sick and wounded

  • In 1846 she opened a women’s medical college in New York City

“If society will not admit woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled.”

Edith Clarke

Edith Clarke

First female engineer

  • Edith Clarke invented the first graphical calculator to simplify calculations for long electrical transmission lines

  • She studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a degree in electrical engineering

“There is no demand for women engineers, as such, as there are for women doctors; but there's always a demand for anyone who can do a good piece of work.”

A fictional portrait of Hypatia, but most well recognized.

Hypatia of Alexandria

First female mathematician

  • Constructed the astrolabe, which is used to calculate the date and time according to the positioning of stars and planets. It was often used in ship navigation.

  • She was one of the first women to teach mathematics, astronomy and philosophy

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”

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