As a girl mom, it has always been important to me to let my daughter know that she can be anything she wants. (At the moment, being a farmer or an archaeologist is at the top of her list.) The International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) is around the corner and this provides an excellent opportunity for us to teach and inspire our girls to become whatever they want to be.
I have found some fun ideas and resources to help you celebrate this important day in your classroom or even at home.
Adding posters of Inspirational Women in Science to your walls is an easy way to start a conversation and create awareness. Why not focus on one female scientist a week?
There are beautiful posters available online. And many of them are available free of charge. Just download, print and you are good to go!
The Nevertheless Podcast has created stunning posters that are available in 8 different languages. They represent role models in STEM and there is an accompanying podcast available as well.
You can also download six stunning posters from Beyond Curie. These highlight six female scientists who revolutionized their fields.
I love the Women in STEM posters from the Department of Energy. They have released 3 series which you can download for free.
Documentaries & Films
One of my favorite ways to get students to connect with a subject on an emotional level is to show them a movie or documentary.
Picture a Scientist follows three female scientists on their journey as they struggle with gender bias in the scientific world. Special virtual screenings can be arranged for schools.
Hidden Figures tells the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians. They played a crucial role in NASA in the early years of the U.S. space program.
As an avid reader (you can follow me on Goodreads), I love suggesting books to my students. One of my favorite authors is Kathy Reichs, and I have had many of my seniors read her books. One even went on to study forensic anthropology.
For younger students, the Rebel Girls series is an amazing source of information and inspiration. My daughter adores these books. There are all kinds of fun activities on the website, as well as a link to the podcast.
The Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro is a fun way to introduce the scientific method at an elementary level. The books follow the adventures of a young girl, Zoey, and her cat, Sassafras, as they help magical creatures with all kinds of problems. They are sure to be a hit with younger readers.
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“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”