TeachersFirst's Change Makers - Women in STEM

From laying the foundations of computer programming to making groundbreaking discoveries in physics and space exploration, women have left an indelible mark across STEM disciplines. Pioneers like Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer algorithm in the 1800s, while others like Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, advanced our understanding of radiation.  NASA trailblazers such as Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were the "Hidden Figures" whose calculations were crucial to early spacecraft missions. From Rosalind Franklin's pivotal X-ray work allowing for DNA's double helix structure to Jane Goodall's pioneering ethological research on chimpanzees, women have continuously reshaped scientific paradigms. Their breakthroughs and tireless pursuit of knowledge have profoundly impacted humanity. Use this curated list of reviewed resources to help your students see the vital role women have had in the past, present, and future in the field of STEM. 

To learn more about STEM, view our collection here

You can also learn about additional women change-makers in our collections:

Change Makers - Young Women Who Changed the World

Change Makers - Pioneering Women

Change Makers - Women for Freedom     

   

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Teachers Guide

 

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Women Techmakers - Google for Developers

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6 to 12
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Google's Women Techmakers program shares resources, tells the stories of women techmakers, and provides visibility to events and tools for women interested in technology. Sign up to...more
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Google's Women Techmakers program shares resources, tells the stories of women techmakers, and provides visibility to events and tools for women interested in technology. Sign up to receive notifications for enrollment in the Ambassador program, which includes over 1000 women who champion diversity and inclusion in technology. Create a profile to join Google's Women Techmakers program to receive updates and early access to workshops and events. Visit the initiatives portion of the site to learn about Black Women in Tech, International Women's Day, and Hackathon, as well as tools and training for improving women's online safety. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): careers (139), professional development (392), STEM (267), women (137), womenchangemaker (28)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the resources on this site to learn more about women in technology professionally and to share with students. Share stories on this site about women changemakers with students as part of career day activities or include them with studies on technology. Use Netboard, reviewed here to curate information to share with students, including videos from this site as well as other resources such as quizzes, Google Forms, reviewed here , and Genially interactives, reviewed here.

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Florence Nightingale - The National Archives

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4 to 8
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Why do we remember Florence Nightingale? This essential question is addressed using primary source documents for elementary and middle school students in this lesson. The lesson includes...more
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Why do we remember Florence Nightingale? This essential question is addressed using primary source documents for elementary and middle school students in this lesson. The lesson includes a series of tasks in which students view maps, images, and documents to explore and discuss the work of Florence Nightingale. Additional links are provided to outside resources to find other resources and extension activities.

tag(s): 1800s (73), biographies (95), heroes (24), women (137), womenchangemaker (28)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your other resources when teaching about women as changemakers or after reading a biography of Florence Nightingale. Introduce Florence Nightingale to students by creating a timeline of her life using MyLens, reviewed here or by having an online "chat" with Florence Nightingale using Character.ai, reviewed here . This lesson includes seven tasks that explore a different primary source document; divide students into seven groups to each complete a task, then share their discoveries through class presentations. For example, use Google Slides, reviewed here to create a collaborative presentation by adding each task to a different slide. Ask each group to use their slide to respond to the exploration questions provided in their task and share their responses with the class. As a final assessment, use the Choice Board Creation tool found at MagicSchool.ai, reviewed here to find suggestions to include in choice board activities, such as creating a travel brochure from Florence's hometown, writing a news article about Florence, or designing an infographic that presents key facts on Florence Nightingale's life.

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The First Women to Design and Build Aeroplanes:Lillian E. Bland and E. Lillian Todd - Gillian Saunders-Smits

Grades
4 to 12
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This article shares information about two female changemakers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean who designed aircraft in the early 1900s. The article includes a short biography...more
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This article shares information about two female changemakers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean who designed aircraft in the early 1900s. The article includes a short biography of each woman, including their inspiration for designing aircraft. Additional information contains excerpts from descriptions of their planes, images of model designs, and a photograph of Ms. Todd with her airplane.

tag(s): aviation (38), engineering (120), STEM (267), women (137), womenchangemaker (28)

In the Classroom

Include this article with your other resources when teaching about women changemakers, life in the early 1900s, or technological changes. As an additional resource, add the picture book about the life of E. Lillian Todd, Wood, Wire, and Wings by Kirsten W. Larsen, to your class library or watch the YouTube video discussion of the book here. Organize and share resources with students using Symbaloo, reviewed here or Padlet, reviewed here. Use MyLens, reviewed here to create a timeline of women's contributions to airline design. MyLens uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate timelines based on your prompt; start with a prompt such as "women airplane designers" to produce a timeline featuring other trailblazing women in airplane design. Extend learning by asking students to design and share a presentation about women changemakers by creating videos using Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here or with Google My Maps, reviewed here to tell the story of women changemakers worldwide.

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Fly Girls - American Experience PBS

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8 to 12
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Learn about America's World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), who changed how we view women in the military. This site includes links to primary source documents, including...more
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Learn about America's World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), who changed how we view women in the military. This site includes links to primary source documents, including a WASP songbook, letters and articles from the women pilots, official duty records, and more. Additional information shares the story of these women through images, short videos, and biographical information.

tag(s): aviation (38), primary sources (116), women (137), womenchangemaker (28), world war 2 (151)

In the Classroom

Include the information on this site with your resources for you and your students to use when studying about World War II or women changemakers. Consider using Milanote, reviewed here to collaborate and share ideas using visual note boards. Add images, notes, and web links when brainstorming ideas and gathering information. Extend learning by asking students to create blogs using edublogs, reviewed here that shares what it was like to live the life of a Fly Girl based upon information gathered from this site and others. Blogs might include short journal entries, images, letters to loved ones at home, and video diaries.

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Who Runs the World? Girls - Women as Changemakers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This page is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here and shares activities and book lists for teaching...more
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This page is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here and shares activities and book lists for teaching about women as changemakers. After viewing a short introduction and background information, visit the activities portion of the site to Read and Do activities based on books featuring Malala Yousafzai, Jane Goodall, Greta Thunberg, and other women changemakers. Extension ideas include how to become a changemaker, a biographer, compare women changemakers, and learn about good trouble. Information includes correlation to ISTE and AASL standards.

tag(s): book lists (162), women (137)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the book suggestions on this page to find additions to your classroom library. Consider adding women as changemakers at one of the stations when doing station rotations. View the archive of OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools for Station Rotations, reviewed here to learn more about using station rotations in your teaching strategies. Extend learning using the 4-Circle Venn Diagram Creator provided by Canva, reviewed here. Canva shares many templates and ideas for different versions of Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast information. Use these ideas to compare and contrast women changemakers' actions, background, and information.
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Women Aviators in World War II: Fly Girls - Edsitement

Grades
5 to 8
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Bookmark this excellent lesson plan about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II. You will find Guiding Questions to help kick off your discussion about women in...more
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Bookmark this excellent lesson plan about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II. You will find Guiding Questions to help kick off your discussion about women in World War II. The lesson plan includes objectives, standards, a thorough preparation briefing with all the necessary links, three detailed activities for students, suggestions for assessments, and lesson extensions.

tag(s): aviation (38), women (137), world war 2 (151)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Once the class has gone through however many lessons you choose, enhance learning by having small groups of students investigate one or more extension activities and share their learning by developing a multimedia presentation. Students can choose multimedia presentation formats using Genially, reviewed here.

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Sally Ride Lesson Plan - ShareMyLesson

Grades
9 to 12
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Teach your students about Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space, with a free lesson plan from ShareMyLesson. Introduce students to the life and accomplishments of...more
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Teach your students about Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space, with a free lesson plan from ShareMyLesson. Introduce students to the life and accomplishments of Sally Ride and explore topics such as gender equality and diversity in STEM fields while inspiring students to pursue their interests in STEM. This lesson is written for grades 9-12 and has an Attribution Non-commercial NoDerivative Creative Commons license. A free account is required to access the downloadable plan.

tag(s): nasa (29), scientists (63), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

The downloadable lesson plan includes four ways to approach teaching about Sally Ride; contributions, additive, transformational, and social action. In addition, the plan consists of links to websites and videos to enhance your instruction. After researching Sally Ride, students can apply their knowledge by creating multimedia presentations using tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, Canva for Education, reviewed here, or Microsoft Sway, reviewed here.

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Promoting STEM Through Literature - Judy Bowling & Kerry Guiliano

Grades
K to 6
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This site shares several children's books and resources for incorporating STEM lessons and the design process. Begin by selecting the book and find a Design Thinking Journal for each...more
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This site shares several children's books and resources for incorporating STEM lessons and the design process. Begin by selecting the book and find a Design Thinking Journal for each student, a book card, and additional materials to accompany the book. Finally, use the box on the right side of the page to find additional information about design thinking and curriculum connections.

tag(s): book lists (162), inquiry (24), literacy (110), Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (226), STEM (267)

In the Classroom

In addition to the suggestions for STEM-related literature, the Design Thinking Journal is an excellent addition to any classroom for use with many other projects. Include ideas from the site in your Maker Space activities, learn more about Maker Spaces and find additional ideas at the TeachersFirst Maker Spaces Special Topics page with reviewed resources. Enhance learning by encouraging students to share Maker Space projects by posting them on a website or blog created using Edublog, reviewed here. Ask students to share their problem-solving journey using the Design Thinking Journal information when designing projects using Flip, reviewed here. Flip is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video with other students. Encourage students to respond to each others' videos.

Comments

I have always been looking for resources on stem education. I am glad I have chanced on this; helpful for my class. Much appreciated. Victor, , Grades: 0 - 8

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34 Highly Influential African-American Scientists - Interesting Engineering and Christopher McFadden

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6 to 12
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This list shares information about 34 African-American scientists and their contributions to many different fields of science. Scroll through to learn about a pioneering ophthalmologist,...more
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This list shares information about 34 African-American scientists and their contributions to many different fields of science. Scroll through to learn about a pioneering ophthalmologist, a woman physicist who advanced the field of telecommunications, and a physician who developed a tool for use with gastric biopsies, among others. Each entry includes short biographical information along with a summary of their accomplishments.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (110), black history (127), careers (139), scientists (63), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Include the information and scientists named in this article as a starting point for many different classroom uses. During Black History Month, feature one of the scientists included on the list each day. Share this list with students to use as a starting point for researching influential Black leaders or learning about career options. Engage students in understanding these African-American scientists' accomplishments using Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Create a slide for each scientist, then ask students to add a sticky note with information learned about their career as they research their work and accomplishments. Ask students to create simple blogs using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. Telegra.ph is a no-fuss blog creation tool that makes it easy to create and share visually appealing blogs that include images, links, and text.

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Annie Jump Cannon: Biographical Digital Resources - Project PHaEDRA

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6 to 12
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Learn about Annie Jump Cannon, an American astronomer whose work was crucial in developing our categorizing system of stars at this collection hosted by the Smithsonian Learning Institute....more
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Learn about Annie Jump Cannon, an American astronomer whose work was crucial in developing our categorizing system of stars at this collection hosted by the Smithsonian Learning Institute. The collection consists of thirty-five resources that include photographs and articles. Select any thumbnail to view the full content. Use the links to download or share items. Creating an account at the Smithsonian Learning Center isn't necessary; however, it allows you to save items and personalize collections.

tag(s): biographies (95), scientists (63), stars (68), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Include this collection with your other resources when teaching lessons about astronomers, famous women, or scientists. Use Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate resources and videos (Youtube videos) to share with students. As you provide time for students to explore this collection, use edpuzzle, reviewed here, with the videos to enhance learning. Add questions or comments to the videos that encourage students to focus on the importance of Cannon's work in the field of astronomy. When sharing articles that contain difficult reading selections, use Read Ahead, reviewed here, to transform the text into a Guided Reading activity that includes a focus on keywords and vocabulary found in the text.
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Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Components of Stars - Project PHaEDRA

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the woman whose thesis was declared to be "the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy" by exploring this interesting collection of articles and images. Browse...more
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Learn about the woman whose thesis was declared to be "the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy" by exploring this interesting collection of articles and images. Browse the site to view thumbnails of forty items and open to view the resources. Download items or share using the provided links. Open a free Smithsonian Learning Institute account to save favorites for further use or create your collections from materials available on the Smithsonian Learning Institute's site.

tag(s): biographies (95), elements (32), scientists (63), stars (68), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Share this collection with students to explore when learning about famous Women in History, scientific advancements, or during an astronomy unit. Ask collaborative groups to work together and share information found in the collection. Use a collaborative note-taking tool such as Notejoy, reviewed here, to have students share ideas and information using checklists, adding images and links, and documenting individual contributions to the project. You may also want to show a few videos, or provide a list for students to watch using Youtube videos. Ask groups or individuals to share their learning using a simple video creation tool like CapCut, reviewed here with voice overs and templates. Ask students to include images and require they include proper citations along with their original work.
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The Science of Henrietta Swan Leavitt - Project PHaEDRA

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6 to 12
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Learn about American astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt with this twenty-piece collection that tells the story of her discoveries while working at the Harvard College Observatory as...more
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Learn about American astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt with this twenty-piece collection that tells the story of her discoveries while working at the Harvard College Observatory as a "computer." This collection includes images of plate glass used for computer calculations, videos, quiz questions, and photos of Leavitt. Choose any thumbnail to open and view each resource. Use the links within each resource to share or download information. Registration isn't required; however, creating a free account offers you the opportunity to save and favorite items within personalized collections.

tag(s): computers (106), scientists (63), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this collection for use during Women's History Month or during studies of famous scientists. Be sure to show students how to use the citation link found with each resource (select the quotation mark icon) when downloading and using items from this collection. Challenge students to learn more about Leavitt by starting with a Flip, reviewed here, sharing one of the plate glass images and encouraging students to speculate on what they are looking at. Include items from this collection with your other resources and share them with students on a Padlet, reviewed here. Add additional articles and videos to your Padlet for students to explore. Extend learning by asking students to conduct further research to learn about Leavitt, then share their findings using one of the presentation tools found at Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, such as flyers, videos, or infographics.

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Williamina Fleming: Discoveries and Biographical Resources - Project PHaEDRA

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about astronomer Williamina Fleming's work with this collection of resources found at the Smithsonian Learning Lab. The collection includes videos, biographies, images, articles,...more
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Learn about astronomer Williamina Fleming's work with this collection of resources found at the Smithsonian Learning Lab. The collection includes videos, biographies, images, articles, and research that tell the story of her astronomy accomplishments, including her discovery of the Horsehead Nebula in 1888. Scroll through the page to view thumbnails of each resource and click to open to view fully. Registration isn't required to use the Smithsonian Learning Lab resources; however, it does allow you to collect and save materials located on the site.

tag(s): 1800s (73), biographies (95), stars (68), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Add a link on classroom computers to this collection for students to explore. Add this and other resources to a collection in Wakelet, reviewed here, and share with students. All materials found on the site are available to download, be sure to show students how to cite each resource using the quotation icon found on each item. Ask students to find biographies and collections of other astronomers, female pioneers, or interesting people from the 1800s for a research project. Create a digital class book of your biographies using Book Creator, reviewed here.
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Girls Who Code - Reshma Saujani

Grades
3 to 12
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have several programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs...more
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Girls Who Code is an organization founded to help close the gender gap in technology. They have several programs offering girls the opportunity to explore coding with peers. The Clubs Program is for girls in grades 3-12 and meets two hours each week in local schools and provides opportunities for computer training for beginners through advanced learner. Click Locations from the top menu to see if there is a school near you. The Summer Program offers a 2-week immersion program or a 6 week self-paced program for 9th-12th-grade students in coding and exposure to jobs in the technology field. While most of the content on this site is appropriate for middle school girls, please preview before you share.

tag(s): coding (90), communities (36), computers (106), critical thinking (112), logic (165), women (137)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's administration or anyone willing to consider leading an after-school computer program for girls and ask them to become a sponsor. Be sure to share information on the Summer Immersion Program with your high school guidance counselor and technology teachers as an excellent opportunity for interested students.

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SheHeroes - sheheroes.org

Grades
2 to 10
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SheHeroes is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls from ages 8-14 to dream big and pursue any interests regardless of gender. Articles feature well-known and everyday...more
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SheHeroes is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls from ages 8-14 to dream big and pursue any interests regardless of gender. Articles feature well-known and everyday females that serve as inspiration for young girls. Choose the Interests link to browse articles by topics such as engineering and sports. The curriculum link offers four categories (creators, explorers, analysts, observers) and units for each to explore them. Each unit includes essential questions, learning objectives, procedure, learning activities, and discussion questions. The videos under profiles reside on YouTube. If your district blocks Youtube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): careers (139), mentoring (6), women (137), womens suffrage (44)

In the Classroom

Use SheHeroes as part of your Career Day or career unit resources. Add a link on classroom computers for students (male and female) to explore on their own. Take advantage of the further discussion questions to encourage students to think about the obstacles faced by women in business and society. Ask a prominent local business woman to speak to your class and discuss obstacles she has faced and how she was able to overcome those issues. Although the site is dedicated to girls from ages 8-14, share with both boys and girls from ages 8 and up as part of any unit on gender inequalites.
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For Women In Science - Loreal

Grades
4 to 12
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This website is for girls to learn about STEM careers and the various research and educational opportunities that exist for them. Famous women in STEM careers and other prominent women...more
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This website is for girls to learn about STEM careers and the various research and educational opportunities that exist for them. Famous women in STEM careers and other prominent women are a focus of this site. Learn about great STEM careers and how STEM impacts much of our world. Watch and learn from others, view video clips, take challenges, learn about careers, and more. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): engineering (120), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Use this site when researching science careers and scientists to be sure to give women their turn and to inspire another generation of female scientists. Share the video clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site during Women's history month. Challenge your students to learn more about present-day famous women in STEM careers and create their own interactive books. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.

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Famous Scientists - famousscientists.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their...more
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their discoveries affect us today.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (71), scientists (63)

In the Classroom

The reading level of this site is rather challenging. Have weaker readers work together with stronger ones. While discussing scientists and inventors, use this site as a resource for gathering information. Have small groups of students research scientists from the same time period. Have them research their contributions including reactions of others to their discovery or invention. Research why these inventions were particularly important and the scientific knowledge that changed as a result. Have them present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Vevox, Animatron, Renderforest, and Microsoft PowerPoint Online. Then, if you would like to take your students critical thinking up a notch and extend their learning, you could have the small groups compare the different inventions and decide how and why the earlier inventions had to come before a later invention could be developed. For this you might want to have students use a collaborative graphic organizer like Canva Edu, reviewed here, and have them report out their thoughts and discoveries to the class.

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Women @ NASA - NASA

Grades
6 to 12
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This website includes a stunning collection of over thirty videos and essays from women who contribute to NASA's mission in many different ways. The stated goal for the site is ...more
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This website includes a stunning collection of over thirty videos and essays from women who contribute to NASA's mission in many different ways. The stated goal for the site is "we hope that these stories will inspire girls everywhere to reach for the stars, and explore the myriad of opportunities available to them through pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics." Each story includes a biography, story, and video about the woman highlighted. Stories include information about their background, academic degrees, current work, and future goals with NASA. The site includes a blog, Twitter feeds, and a Facebook page which you can subscribe to. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): careers (139), scientists (63), space (215), STEM (267), women (137)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching careers or space exploration. This is a perfect site for Women's History Month! There is plenty of information on the site for students to use as a model for researching career information. Challenge students to trace the life events of one of the women using an animated timeline tool like Time Graphics Timeline Maker, reviewed here. Describe events, display images, and embed videos at different points with this timeline tool. Be sure students share the location where their researched woman is originally from.

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Amelia Earhart - The Official Website - Family of Amelia Earhart

Grades
6 to 12
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. The most extensive part of the site ...more
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. The most extensive part of the site is the "Biography." Other portions contain her achievements, quotes, and photos. An interesting portion of the site is the News section which has links to recent stories and news articles about Amelia Earhart. Scroll down the "Home" page to preview the movie Amelia, you may want to share this with your class - or not. Preview beforehand.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aviation (38), careers (139), famous people (21), flight (31), women (137)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching famous Americans, women, flight, or careers. Enhance learning by having students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to create an audio (and visual) tour of Amelia Earhart's journeys. Her story could also offer a powerful writing prompt for an essay about people who take on formidable challenges/adventures. Substitute a blog tool such as edublog, reviewed here, for paper and pen.

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Engineer Girl - National Science Foundation and Berkeley

Grades
5 to 12
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The title says it all: This is a guide to engineering for girls. Find answers to such questions as: "Why Should I Become An Engineer?" see descriptions of engineering careers, ...more
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The title says it all: This is a guide to engineering for girls. Find answers to such questions as: "Why Should I Become An Engineer?" see descriptions of engineering careers, meet inspiring women engineers, and Learn How to Become an Engineer.

tag(s): careers (139), engineering (120), STEM (267)

In the Classroom

Find and write about career opportunities as an exploration topic. Discover how many careers use engineering, math, and science and it is not just for boys anymore! Search for other possible engineering related careers and create interactive posters using Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here that informs others of the possibilities, or create using Sway, reviewed here to create interactive presentations across all devices. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share their findings such as an infomercial video using a tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here, or Clipchamp, reviewed here. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. This resource is also terrific for girls spending the Take Your Child to Work Day at a STEM-related workplace. Have the young woman use her workplace visit experience and information from this site to share an interactive newsletter about a STEM career using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here.

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