Are You a Rocket Girl?
Do you love math?
Do you love science?
Do you like to solve problems?
Figure things out?
If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you just might be a Rocket Girl.
Named in homage to those early women of science who, though of the wrong gender to either earn the title or be paid as engineers, the original rocket girls were employed by JPL, NASA and its predecessors to perform the requisite mathematical calculations and early computer coding that launched rockets into the air and ultimately landed a man on the moon.
Chronicled in her book “Rise of the Rocket Girls,” Nathalia Holt tells the story of the early women of JPL, the original “computers,” who set us up mathematically on the course of space exploration.
As Holt explained in a segment on NPR, "In a time before the digital devices that we're used to today, it was humans that were doing the calculations.
And so you needed these teams of people — many of whom were women, especially during World War II — and they were responsible for the math."
“Rise of the Rocket Girls” opens up for us a literary time capsule into the California of the 1940s, 50s and beyond, and the essential though previously untrumpeted role of a handful of very bright women.
"There is hardly a mission that you can find in NASA that these women haven't touched," continued Holt.
But Rocket Girls are not just rocket scientists, NASA engineers or the like.
Any girl can be a Rocket Girl if she is passionate about math and science, and all the more so, pursues these passions.Click to tweet
From the middle school girl laboring over her science fair project, to the high school girl taking struggling with the APs — Calculus, Physics, Chemistry — to the undergraduate girls pursuing math and science college majors, graduate students and those taking these degrees into an often cold, unwelcoming workplace.
Despite the national calls for a resurgence in math and science competency, often referred to by its codeword STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
women are often sidelined in their pursuit of math and science, leaving the field “at every major point in the pipeline,”Click to tweet
The ones who make it all the way through to the other end, despite the odds stacked up against them, are today’s true Rocket Girls.
Science’s glass ceiling is one of the last non-gender-neutral holdouts in a world where increasingly more women are “Leaning In,” becoming entrepreneurs, CEOs, and even President of the United States, we can only hope one day.
So let me ask you again… Are you a rocket girl?
If so, join us at http://RocketGirls.com
And get your free Rocket Girl wristband too.
Watch the video above for the full lesson.
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