STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. According to the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, just 30% of the world’s scientists are women. Here are six women who discovered revolutionary researches in the field of STEM.
Marie Curie was the first female to ever win Nobel Prize in two different sciences: Physics and Chemistry. Born in Warsaw, Poland where higher education was barred from females, Marie enrolled in Floating University - a secret institution for Polish youths. After that, she moved to Paris and studied at Sorbonne. There, Marie earned both a physics and mathematics degree. In 1902, Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel were nominated for Nobel Prize but Pierre shared his nomination with his wife because of her well-earn recognition which made Marie Curie the first female Nobel Laureate. In 1903, She won another Nobel Prize for her earlier discovery of Polonium and Radium, and extraction and analysis of pure radium and its compounds.
Rosalind Franklin was born in London, England, and well-known for her discoveries of the structure of DNA, fine structure of coal and graphite, and virus structures. She died four years before the Nobel Prize was awarded when she was just 37 years old.
Chien – Shiung Wu had earned herself the nickname of “the Chinese Madame Curie” because she got inspired by Marie Curie in the field of physics to discover how beta decay works. Just like Marie Curie, Chien – Shiung Wu emigrated from China to the U.S. to pursue her dream. She joined Manhattan Project at Colombia University to develop the atomic bombs. In 1954, she won the Nobel Prize for “First Lady of Physics” and many more awards including the National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize in Physics.
Stephanie Kwolek was an American-Polish Chemist. Her research focused on the polymer that eventually led to the creation of bulletproof vests known as Kevlar. She won two awards from the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1996 and Perkin Medal in 1997.
Mae Jemison is the first African American woman astronaut in space. She went to Stanford University on a Scholarship for science in chemical engineering, African-American studies and earn her doctorate in medicine from Cornell University. On Sept 12, 1992, She became the first African American Women departed in spacecraft Endeavour on a mission to investigate two bone cell research experiments. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds in space.
Quite different from the previously mentioned women, Marissa Mayer is an American Technologist. After graduating from Stanford University in Computer Science, Marissa began her career as a Google engineer in 1999. She was the vice president of Google Search Products and User Experience. She also was responsible for securing Google’s survey site. However, in 2012, she left Google and became the CEO of Yahoo.
“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game.” – Nichelle Nichols
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