10 American Women in STEM Who Broke Barriers
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields have long been dominated by men, making it challenging for women to find their place in these industries. However, over the years, many remarkable women have overcome these barriers and made significant contributions to their fields. In this article, we will highlight ten American women who broke barriers in STEM.
1. Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper was a computer pioneer and a computer scientist who developed the programming language COBOL, one of the earliest high-level programming languages, which eventually became the standard for business software. She was also the first person to use the term “debugging” when referring to fixing coding errors.
2. Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson was a mathematician at NASA who played a significant role in spaceflight calculations. Her work helped to ensure the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew. She also calculated the trajectory for the first American manned spacecraft, the Friendship 7.
3. Mae Jemison
In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space. She was a physician, chemical engineer, and astronaut, working for NASA before going to space. She went on to found a science and technology research institute and holds nine honorary doctorates.
4. Ellen Ochoa
Ellen Ochoa is an engineer and astronaut who became the first Hispanic woman to travel to space in 1993. She has flown four missions during her time at NASA and has received numerous awards for her achievements. Ochoa also played a vital role in the development of optical analysis systems.
5. Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin was a chemist and x-ray crystallographer who was instrumental in the discovery of the DNA double helix structure. Unfortunately, she did not receive credit for this significant discovery during her lifetime, but her contributions were eventually recognized posthumously.
6. Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese-American physicist who made significant contributions to nuclear physics. She disproved the law of conservation of parity and was the first woman to receive the Wolf Prize for physics. Wu also mentored many young women in physics, inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM.
7. Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Kwolek was a chemist who invented Kevlar, a strong and lightweight synthetic fiber used in protective gear, such as body armor and helmets. She received numerous awards for her invention, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
8. Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Maria Goeppert-Mayer was a physicist who was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. She developed the nuclear shell model, a theory that explains the structure of atomic nuclei.
9. Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is a physicist who made groundbreaking contributions to the study of condensed matter and theoretical physics. She was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT and the first woman to lead the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
10. Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Lisa Seacat DeLuca is a computer scientist and inventor who has filed over 600 patents with IBM. She is the most prolific female inventor in the company’s history and was named one of MIT’s 35 Innovators Under 35.
In conclusion, despite facing many obstacles in their careers, these ten remarkable women didn’t give up on their dreams of making a significant impact in the STEM fields. They have broken barriers and paved the way for women in STEM for generations to come.