Can You Name Any Female Inventors?

11:56 AM

The history of female inventors plays a big part in getting girls more involved in STEM fields.


women inventor

Women are excluded from the history taught in our schools but they have shaped our world as much as men. If you picked up a middle school textbook, you would think they only sat inside, sewing the American Flag.


In reality, women are behind some of the biggest science of the modern era. Marie Curie came up with the Theory of Radioactivity. She was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes. Nancy Johnson invented the Ice Cream Maker in 1843. Her patented design is still used today. Ann Tsukamoto invented stem cell isolation. Her breakthrough has been vital to medical advancements about learning more about cancer. Elizabeth Magie invented monopoly and Rosalind Franklin had the first image of the DNA double helix stolen from her. 

And Grace Hopper invented the computer in 1944. Yes, a woman invented the computer. It might have been five-tons and room-sized, but still, she was the one that started the chain of events that led to me having my tiny mac on my lap right now. And I had no idea that she did it until I was doing research for this blog post.

Names of famous female inventors

But I am not an abnormality in my lack of knowledge about these hidden women. Instead, I am just like millions of girls who never learned about these women in school. When I learned about DNA or computers or Radioactivity, I learned the names of their male colleagues or predecessors. I learned about Eddison and the Wright brothers.


I applaud Microsoft for this video. It gets so many important names across so quickly. It also points out a huge issue-- women have been systematically oppressed and ignored in STEM fields (in all fields actually but STEM in particular). If we want girls to want to enter into them, this needs to end and education is a great way to stop it.

Girl interested in science

By teaching girls about these inventors, they will learn that they can create devices, theorems, and theories to better our world because others have come before them. They are not trying to do something totally uncharted.


As importantly, by teaching about these female inventors in schools, boys will learn about them too. They will learn that women are capable and respected members of the STEM fields as well which will teach them to treat their female colleagues with respect. Their treatment of women plays a big part in girls participation. And after Sir Tim Hunt's comments, I know it is not always fair.


I look forward to the day that Marie Curie is as well known as Albert Einstein and women are represented in the sciences.

STEM science for girls


If girls and STEM are things you care about, check out these other honest conversations: 

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About the Author: 
Claire Elizabeth HarnEnz writes, reads, and blogs for VProud.tv 

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