Our first featured lady is, of course, Ada Lovelace! From Finding Ada:
Ada loved machines. She spent hours poring over diagrams of new inventions and eagerly devouring any new periodical journals she could get her hands on. She began to think about how she would design a steam-powered flying machine, studying the anatomy of birds to help her understand the mechanics of flight. She realised that the wings would need to be in proportion to the size of the body, where the steam engine would be located to provide power. Her design preceded the aerial steam carriage, patented by William Henson and John Stringfellow in 1842, by 15 years. Ada was just 12.
This unusual preoccupation was encouraged by Lady Byron, although not at the expense of her other studies, who ensured that Ada was taught by some of the very finest minds in England. Having enjoyed a first class education herself, Lady Byron was determined that Ada should have the same, arranging for a series of teachers to give her a solid grounding in science and mathematics.
Ada Lovelace Day was founded by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009 and aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.
The inspiration for Ada Lovelace Day came from psychologist Penelope Lockwood, who carried out a study which found that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male role models. “Outstanding women can function as inspirational examples of success,” she said, “illustrating the kinds of achievements that are possible for women around them. They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome traditional gender barriers, indicating to other women that high levels of success are indeed attainable.”
October 11th is Ada Lovelace Day! Today the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas” alongside historical women that have made impacts in science and math.
Please promote and share #ALD16 with your friends and family so we can promote and share with all of the world wide web!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
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.