Our Women’s History Month Book Series continues with scientists, astronauts, and advice on becoming a leader in STEM. Whether you dream of winning a Nobel Prize like Jennifer Doudna or exploring the solar system like Katherine Johnson, in this part of the series, you’ll find books that remind you to always shoot for the stars.
Katherine Johnson: NASA’s Space Race Math Whiz
Born in August 1918, Katherine Johnson was a historical woman leader who led humanity to the stars and beyond. She was an African-American mathematician who provided successful orbital calculations in many U.S spaceflights, including the mission that get John Glenn into space. With a mind as bright as the solar system she helped us to explore, her historical achievements within NASA have made her a leader in STEM for women look up to.
Jennifer Doudna: Nobel Prize Winning Code Breaker
Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Prize winner and one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2015, is an American woman and leader in chemistry who has made historical strides in the 21st century. Born February 1964, she is a biochemist with many scientific breakthroughs under her belt. Specializing in gene editing, she is best known for helping develop CRISPR–a DNA editing tool. Awarded “for the development of a method for genome editing” in 2020, Doudona’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is shared with biochemist Emmanuelle Charpentier.
If you want to learn more about space exploration, check out For All Humankind and Exploring Mars by Tanya Harrison. If you share Lisa Simpson’s passion for space, then Kellie Geradi’s Not Necessarily Rocket Science will help you learn what it’s like to be a female astronaut and break barriers in aerospace. If you have a child in your life and want to foster their interest and imagination in space, then Luna Muna is the perfect gift ideas for preschoolers and toddlers who have everything.
Q+A with Author Kellie Gerardi
MANGO: What is the greatest piece of advice you would give to future woman leaders in STEM trying to make history?
KELLIE: Behind every successful career you’ll find a series of mentors and sponsors—mentors help point out the specific doors that you’ll need to walk through on your professional journey and sponsors hold those doors open for you. My mentors would prove to be both. They sensed in me a deep curiosity and an extreme work ethic, and over the years I aspired to live up to those expectations.
Curious for more? Click below to learn more about female leaders and meet the authors behind our Women’s History Month Book Series