Since 1911, March is officially designated Women’s History Month. We recognize women’s contributions to science and computing (amongst many other fields) and just recently launched a new version of our operating system, codenamed Lovelace after Ada Lovelace!
If you’re an educator looking to celebrate Women’s History Month with a fun book or movie, we have some recommendations! Do you want to connect it to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)? Looking to talk about forgotten histories? Look no further!
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of 50 women who pioneered discoveries and helped change the world. Many of them have been forgotten and their historic findings undermined but Ignotosfsky’s highlights them to a new audience who won't easily forget about them.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures tells the amazing and forgotten story of the brilliant African-American's Mary Jackson, Dorthy Vaughan, and Katerine G. Johnson. All three worked for NASA as “computers” and were the brains behind the historic launch of astronaut John Glenn into space.
This book-turned-movie (trailer) shows the brilliance and amazing tenacity of these women when working in a field that discriminated against them. It's a powerful story set in a time of strong segregation and gender inequality in the United States.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark
One of the early pioneers of computers and programming, Grace Hopper, invented the first compiler for a computer program. From the US Navy to computers, Grace’s story is one to entertain and enlighten readers with the life of a woman who helped shaped computer science.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Ada Twist, Scientist tells the story of a young girl whose first words were, “why?” A fun story that highlights to young readers the endless possibilities of asking questions and experimenting in your daily life. A story about curiosity and how it drives us.
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark
Known as “The Mother of Computers”, Ada Lovelace is the sometimes forgotten outsider of computer science. Wallmark’s story gives detail on Ada’s life and journey to earn her title, and shows her sheer will and determination.
Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Environmentalist and women’s advocate, Seeds of Change tells Wangari’s story in all its vibrant details on her mission to change her country, and the world, one seed at a time.
Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding by Linda Liukas
Meet Ruby, a young girl who likes to figure things out! Hello Ruby is a story and an activity book all-in-one. Learn about the hardware of computers and computational thinking all at the same time!
Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia by D. Anne Love
Socrates wrote of her brilliance, but who was Hypatia? Of Numbers and Stars tells the story of Hypatia, a young woman who was a philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer in a time where women were not educated. Learn about this ancient scholar and her contributions to the world!
The Elephant Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) by Caitlin O'Connell, Donna M. Jackson, and Timothy Rodwell
The Elephant Scientist presents facts and information from female scientists studying these large creatures in the field. Learn about these scientists' passions and why they decided to devote their lives to elephants.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Although this is the only book on our list that does not have a woman explicitly working in a STEM field, Miss Rumphius has a meaningful message. As a child Miss Rumphius wanted to travel the world and settle down by the sea, but her final goal is much more elusive: to make the world a better place.
Even though diverse communities lived and thrived in the past, their narratives tend to be forgotten. For Women’s History Month this year let’s not forget those stories, but celebrate them!