My mom got her degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska Omaha when my brother and I were kids and we had a pretty amazing childhood because of it! I got to meet Sally Ride; the University's science department and the Omaha Children's Museum were pretty much our playgrounds, and dry ice was as normal a find in our kitchen as milk (for the most part). And my dad has a degree in Biology so we were pretty lucky to have two parents who really encouraged and supported us in our love of science. While I did have the support at home, I felt extremely discouraged in my high school science classes and really struggled with it. I've always thought of myself as more of the liberal arts minded sort but I don't think it helped me at all to label myself, because in college I discovered Feminist Studies that encourages us to explore all fields of study and to examine the connections between them. My senior thesis was a combination of science, legal studies, political science, religion, etc. It was such an empowering experience to deconstruct and consider power dynamics within scientific epistemologies, and to look at the ways all of these studies intersect. I guess my point is that we shouldn't limit ourselves especially when it comes to our education. I was able to fall in love with science all over again because I didn't see it as this field "over there" that was too intimidating for me to understand. When I looked at it from another point of view - from a place that was less intimidating - it really inspired me again and I can totally see why my mother is so in love with it. More girls need to find that love for science and math and I'm hopeful that all the work educators are doing to promote women in STEM fields will really help us to reexamine our approach! Rock on, ladies!
“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.” - Maria Mitchell
"Early in her career, it was Rosalind Franklin who painstakingly conceived of and captured "Photograph 51" of the "B" form of DNA in 1952 while at King's College in London. It is this photograph, acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, that revealed the structure of DNA." - Rosalind Franklin University
Happy belated birthday to Rosalind Franklin! She was an amazing woman and such an inspiration!
Welcome to Friday! Since the new school year starts next week, we are busy trying to eek out the last bit of irresponsible fun while we can. I’m sure the weekend will be filled with making fun stuff, hopefully going to the beach, and staying up way too late!
Today we would like to introduce all of you to our newest necklace, the Sally.
It is named after one of the greatest women of science, Dr. Sally Ride. I was heartbroken last summer when I heard the news that Dr. Ride had lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. Not to wax too cheesy, but the stars were much dimmer that night.
Dr. Ride, as the first American woman in space, provided numerous contributions to science and space exploration. She was a Mission Specialist on two space shuttle flights, became a professor of Physics at UCSD, the director of the University of California's California Space Institute and authored five children's science books. Go here to read more:http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ride-sk.html
Jenavieve and I (and one of my dear science education friends, Rachael) were thrilled to have been able to meet Dr. Sally Ride back in 1997 in Omaha at a conference where she was the keynote speaker. I distinctly remember her intelligence, her enthusiasm for science education, and her humility. She even handled my babbling “new teacher” enthusiasm when I shook her hand and asked her a somewhat goofy question, “How can we encourage girls to follow a path into science, and science education?” She gave me a very gracious smile and said “I’m doing what I can…” It was so profound and funny.
Dr. Ride left a legacy of science education through the work of Sally Ride Science (an amazing science education organization dedicated “to educating, engaging, and inspiring all students.”
When you have a few minutes, watch this video Celebrating Sally.
Thank you Dr. Sally Ride for all that you did for the advancement of science, science education and especially for women in science!
"My real love for the night skies developed while observing at Palomar Observatory in California, and that love has never diminished." - Carolyn Shoemaker
The next astronomy necklace to be named after a famous female scientist is our lovely Jupiter necklace which shall henceforth be referred to as the Carolyn necklace. It is being named after Carolyn Shoemaker, who along with her husband and scientist David Levy, discovered the comet known as Shoemaker-Levy 9 at the Palomar Observatory outside of San Diego in 1993. In July of 1994, the comet broke apart and collided with the giant planet providing spectacular knowledge to scientists around the world. ..both about Jupiter itself and space debris in general. Carolyn Shoemaker received the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1996. She is considered to be an amazing astronomer, holding the record for the greatest number of comets discovered (32 comets and 800 asteroids) even though she entered the field of astronomy at the age of 51.
Julie and Jenavieve
A geeky mother and daughter working to bring science and art together. To get to know us better, check out our about page!