10 of the World’s Greatest Female Inventors You Need to Know #WomenInSTEM
takepart has a list of 10 of the world’s greatest women inventors and discoverers (not all of them are strictly inventors but they are all important historical figures).
We’ve all heard of famous inventors such as Thomas Jefferson (Monticello’s Great Clock), Alexander Graham Bell (the telephone), and Benjamin Franklin (bifocal glasses), but what about Grace Hopper and Stephanie Kwolek?
Hopper invented computer programming—without which, it’s fair to say, the world would be a very different place—and Kwolek invented Kevlar, a material five times stronger than steel and currently used around the world to protect people from bullets.
Despite how important these inventions are, history has shown us that women’s achievements are often overlooked when it comes to handing out praise. So we’re looking to spread the love.
Below, a look at some of the most important discoveries and inventions made by women in the last 100 years:
1. Marie Curie: Theory of radioactivity
Turns out, you can split an atom. This was one of the major discoveries made by Marie Curie while she was studying “radioactive” elements. Curie received her first Nobel Prize for the discovery of radioactivity and her second for the discovery of polonium and radium. She was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.
2. Nancy Johnson: The ice-cream maker
In 1843, Johnson invented the hand-cranked ice-cream maker, which is still used to this day. We don’t know what more to say other than thank you, Nancy Johnson, thank you.
3. Maria Telkes: The first 100 percent solar-powered house
In 1947, the Hungarian scientist invented the thermoelectric power generator to provide heat for Dover House, a wedge-shaped structure she conceived with architect Eleanor Raymond. Girl power, indeed!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.