A Hollywood star. An egg saleswoman. A corn expert. A descendant of Japanese-Americans. A suffragist.
These are the backgrounds of women who went on to break barriers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and are featured in the Energy Department’s latest set of the classroom poster series.
To inspire students to learn about the scientific achievements of these remarkable women and how STEM education helped them purse their dreams, these posters share the images and stories on five groundbreaking women. Download and print the posters now on any home or office printer for use in classrooms or after-school programs.
This second series features:
- Hedy Lamarr (1914 – 2000)
Hedy patented a technology enabling radio signals to jump frequencies, which makes mobile phone, wifi, and military communications possible. She was one of the most popular actresses of her day and starred in 30 Hollywood films during the 1930s and 1940s. Hedy ended her (unhappy) marriage to a Nazi Arms dealer, moved to America, and offered her invention to the U.S. Navy to support the war effort.
- Evelyn Boyd Granville (1924 – )
Evelyn was the second African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics and helped in America’s early space missions like the Apollo program. Luckily for her students, Evelyn loves teaching in STEM fields and worked at universities, elementary schools, and wrote a text book. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and lived in Tennessee, California, Connecticut, and Texas, where she sold chicken eggs with her husband.
- Barbara McClintock (1902 – 1992)
At age 81, Barbara became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine as result of her own work (the other women who previously won this category were on teams with men). She discovered genetic transposition, when genes change positions on chromosomes, by studying corn for 26 years. She’s commemorated on U.S. and Swedish postage stamps, and has buildings named after her at Cornell University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. There’s also a street named after her in Berlin.
- Ruby Hirose (1904 – 1960)
Ruby was a biochemist and biologist whose research helped lead to vaccines against polio and infantile paralysis. Her father, brother, and sister were sent to internment camps during World War II but she was living in a different state and was spared a similar fate. Ruby taught microbiology and did cancer research at universities in Ohio and Indiana She also researched serums and antitoxins at William S. Merrell Laboratories.
- Nora Stanton Blatch Barney (1883 – 1971)
Nora was the first woman to get a degree in civil engineering in the U.S. and a fighter for gender equality – just like her grandmother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She even solved a key problem in hydrodynamics while doing her thesis research at Cornell. Nora was a fighter - she sued the American Society of Civil Engineers after they only allowed her to be a junior member. She was the first woman ever admitted to the organization.
As we noted in the roll-out of the first set of our Women in STEM classroom poster series, one of the most powerful ways for a young woman to pursue STEM is to have someone encourage her to do so. STEM professionals visiting classrooms and events, engaging stories, and visual depictions of women in STEM show girls the possibilities available to them, and shatter stereotypes that only boys and men can make an impact in these fields.
View the first set of posters here, and keep an eye out for the next set featuring women from the Manhattan Project on our website.
For more information on the Department of Energy’s STEM resources like events, classes, open houses, and student competitions, visit www.energy.gov/STEMRising.