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Category: Mighty Girls & Women
  • This trailblazing engineer became the first person in history to design a Naval ship using a computer.

    Raye Montague, the groundbreaking engineer and ship designer, smashed both gender and racial barriers to revolutionize Naval ship design and become the U.S. Navy's first female program manager of ships. While Montague was the first person to ever design a ship on a computer, her contributions were little known until Margot Lee Shetterly's book Hidden Figures, which told the story of African American female mathematicians at NASA, generated a new interest in other little-known women who made remarkable contributions with their technical prowess. Montague, who died in late 2018 and whose story has been told in a new picture book, The Girl With A Mind For Math, always credited her mother's insistence on education for giving her the push she needed to reach for her dreams. "You’ll have three strikes against you," she remembered her saying. "You’re female, you’re black and you’ll have a Southern segregated school education. But you can be or do anything you want, provided you’re educated." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dolly Parton, the beloved country music star and humanitarian, celebrates her 76th birthday!

    Dolly Parton grew up in poverty in rural Tennessee, but went on to become one of the greatest country musicians of all time and a beloved humanitarian supporting causes ranging from children's literacy to COVID-19 vaccine development! The legendary singer, who is celebrating her 76th birthday today, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, with 25 songs reaching number one on the Billboard country music charts. A prolific songwriter, Parton has written over 3,000 songs and won ten Grammy Awards and 50 nominations, the second most nominations of any female artist in history. An inspiring role model to many of her fans, particularly the working class women whose stories feature prominently in her songs, Parton has long encouraged them to pursue their dreams, observing: "If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Applications are now open for this unique, tuition-free wilderness science program!

    If you know an adventurous, science-loving teenage Mighty Girl looking for a challenge this year, Inspiring Girls Expeditions is currently accepting applications for their free wilderness expedition science program! This year, the non-profit organization is running twelve different expeditions, including ones focused on mountaineering on an Alaskan glacier, rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains, hiking in the Swiss Alps, and sea kayaking in Alaskan fjords. On each trip, a small team of girls will spend up to 10 to 12 days exploring and learning through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of new biographies about Mighty Women for adult readers.

    It's been another incredible year of books celebrating mighty women! From a fascinating biography of the woman leading today's new scientific revolution to gripping accounts of clever spies who outwitted the Nazis to powerful memoirs by women grappling with grief to upbeat autobiographies by beloved popular figures, this year has seen a diverse range of new biographies for adult readers about extraordinary women. And, just as our Mighty Girls love reading books about smart, confident, and courageous girls and women, we know that our adult supporters love their stories too! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Pioneering mathematician Ada Lovelace is now the subject of a variety of books for all ages!

    English mathematician Ada Lovelace is widely considered the world's first computer programmer for her invention of the computer algorithm. Born in 1815 to the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Byron, Lovelace's mathematical talents led to an ongoing collaboration with mathematician Charles Babbage, who called Lovelace the "Enchantress of Numbers." While translating an article by an Italian engineer on Babbage's Analytical Engine, a proposed early version of a mechanical general-purpose computer, Ada added her own extensive set of notes, three times as long as the original article, which contained a tremendous breakthrough — the first computer program or algorithm! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Ruth Coker Burks cared for over 1,000 people during the height of the AIDS epidemic, most of whom had been rejected by their families.

    In 1986, Ruth Coker Burks' discovery of a hospital room door with a "big, red bag" over it and her encounter with the dying young man inside changed her life — and led her to becoming the final caregiver for hundreds of people dying of AIDS, most of them young gay men who had been abandoned by their families. When Ruth, then 26 years old, learned how many young men were being left to die alone and often were not even being claimed for burial, she recalls thinking, "Who knew there’d come a time when people didn’t want to bury their children?” Over the next ten years, Burks estimates that she helped care for over 1,000 people dying of AIDS and even dug the graves for 40 of them herself in her family's cemetery. In recognition of World AIDS Day, we're sharing Burks' inspiring story — and the powerful and timeless lesson it teaches about the power of compassion to overcome fear and prejudice. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books, toys, and clothing for dino-loving girls of all ages!

    All too often, books, toys, and clothing featuring dinosaurs exclusively feature boys — but what about the countless dino-loving girls out there? There are plenty of girls who know a plesiosaur from a pachycephalosaurus, or who can talk for hours about the plant life of the Jurassic versus Triassic periods! And if you've got a dino-crazy Mighty Girl in your house, you may want to stock her bookshelves, toy box, and closet with things that remind her that dinos are definitely for girls. Continue reading Continue reading

  • From building sets to dolls, toys offer a fun new way to introduce kids to trailblazing women throughout history!

    With all of the excitement, drama, and derring-do of women throughout history, why keep it to books? Women's history is full of impressive figures who smashed boundaries, stood up against injustice, and defiantly insisted on being true to themselves. When we pull their stories off the page, they become even more thrilling — and one way to do that is to bring women's history into the toy box! Dolls, games, building sets, and more provide a new way to spark an interest in women's history and a fun way to make these stories into part of day-to-day play. With options from toddlers to teens, the toys featured in this post will help kids discover remarkable women they may not have learned about in school, and introduce them to a variety of new role models to admire! Continue reading Continue reading

  • From Wi-Fi to Kevlar: Twenty Female Inventors Who Changed the World!

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    Around the world and across history, innovative women have imagined, developed, tested, and perfected their creations, and yet most of us would be hard pressed to name even a single woman inventor. In fact, women inventors are behind many of the products and technologies used every day! From life rafts to disposable diapers to rocket fuel, women have invented amazing things — but they're also responsible for some of the things we use for day to day life. In fact, if you use GPS on your cell phone, turn on windshield wipers when you drive in the rain, or eat a chocolate chip cookie, you can thank the woman behind them! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Before Sara Josephine Baker took charge, a third of children died before their 5th birthdays.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, the pioneering physician Sara Josephine Baker revolutionized public health care for children in New York City. When Baker started her public health work, the impoverished slums of Hell's Kitchen on the city's West Side were among the most densely populated places on Earth, and epidemics killed an estimated 4,500 people each week in the overcrowded immigrant tenements, including 1,500 babies. With a third of children born there dying before their fifth birthday, Baker famously remarked that "It is six times safer to be a soldier in the trenches than a baby in the United States." Thanks to her initiatives, the death rate plummeted, and Baker became famous as doctor who had saved 90,000 children in New York City and countless others as her reforms were replicated across the United States and in other countries. Continue reading Continue reading

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