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  • Among hundreds of men, trailblazing NASA Engineer JoAnn Morgan was the sole woman present in the locked control room.

    A famous photo shows the control room at Kennedy Space Center on the day of the historic Apollo 11 launch packed with hundreds of men in white shirts and skinny black ties — and, among them, a single woman sits at a console. As Apollo 11 began its flight to the moon on July 16, 1969, 28-year-old instrumentation controller JoAnn Hardin Morgan became the first woman ever permitted in the launch firing room, which is locked down in advance of a space flight. Morgan, who was the first female engineer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, would go on to have a 40-year-long career at NASA. While she encountered challenges along the way, including being "the only woman there for a long time" and spending the first 15 years working "in a building were there wasn't a ladies rest room," Morgan says that "I had such a passion that overrode anything else, the lonely moments, the little bits of negative. They were like a mosquito bite. You just swat it and push on." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of historical fiction starring Mighty Girls for tweens and teens!

    For many readers, a good work of historical fiction takes history from facts and figures on a page and brings it to life! Historical fiction encourages readers to imagine what it was like to live in times and places other than our own — and helps them see that, no matter when and where someone lives, people are more alike than different. Plus, historical fiction has a particular role to play when studying eras where girls and women were often relegated to the sidelines: it can draw out their involvement in the major events of the period and show that, wherever history was being made, girls were there too. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Pioneering neuroscientist Brenda Milner, one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience, says that at 102, she's "still nosy."

    If you go to the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, you might catch a glimpse of 102-year-old Dr. Brenda Milner — a pioneering neuroscientist who's still breaking new ground in her 70-year long career as a brain researcher! The eminent British-born scientist revolutionized brain science as a newly minted PhD in the 1950s. Today, she is best known for discovering where memory formation occurs in the brain and is widely recognized as one of the founders of cognitive neuroscience. Her research to better understand the inner workings of the human brain continues today, although she says that people often think she must be emerita because of her advanced age. "Well, not at all," she asserts. "I’m still nosy, you know, curious.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's reading recommendations and other resources for children and teens honoring the contributions of women to the founding of the United States.

    The Fourth of July is celebrated across the United States in commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. While no women were present to add their signatures to the declaration, their role in creating and preserving the freedom that all Americans cherish is equally important to our nation’s history. In this blog post, we strive to, as Abigail Adams famously directed her husband, John Adams, one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, “remember the ladies” and their immense contributions to the nation's founding!  Continue reading Continue reading

  • For the first time in its 34-year history, The Magic School Bus is getting a feature film — and Elizabeth Banks will star as the iconic teacher Ms. Frizzle!

    For the first time in its 34-year history, The Magic School Bus is getting a feature film — and Elizabeth Banks will star as the beloved Ms. Frizzle! Banks, who is also producing the film with her company Brownstone Productions, is best known for roles in The Hunger Games franchise and in Pitch Perfect. Now, she's excited to be stepping into the famous school bus to teach a new generation of kids about science. "We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way," says Scholastic Entertainment’s president Iole Lucchese. "[We hope the movie] inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Whether they challenged racial segregation or broke new ground for women in sports, these Canadian women trailblazers are truly a reason to be proud.

    Happy Canada Day! Canada has come a long way since the Dominion of Canada was formed 153 years ago. It’s gone from the four original provinces to ten provinces and three territories that truly fulfill the national motto, “From sea to shining sea.” A diverse nation of peoples from all over the world, Canada is looking towards a bright future.

    And unsurprisingly, throughout Canada’s history, brave women have been there to leave their mark. From the earliest colonial settlements to today, women have helped shape the history and culture of Canada. To celebrate Canada Day, A Mighty Girl is paying tribute to twelve of these amazing women. From activists to scientists, authors to engineers, and athletes to doctors, these women have shown that Canadian pride is universal.

    So let’s take a trip through Canada’s past and present to recognize these twelve women who have helped make this country a place so many people are proud to call home. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dr. Kazue Togasaki became one of the first Japanese American women to earn a medical degree in the US.

    In the midst of World War II, as many people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in internment camps, a pioneering doctor helped ensure that pregnant women got the best care she could provide. Dr. Kazue Togasaki fought sexism and racism to become one of the first Japanese American women to earn a medical degree in the US. Over the course of her remarkable career, she delivered over 10,000 babies, including 50 during one month at the Tanforan Assembly Center. "In other camps, I know they’d send the pregnant women out to the nearest county hospital to deliver, but I never thought about sending them out from Tanforan," she recalled years later. "I thought it was my duty." Continue reading Continue reading

  • NASA's Washington, D.C. Headquarters is being renamed in honor of Mary Jackson, the space agency's first African American female engineer.

    Mary Jackson was NASA's first African American female engineer — now, the space agency is honoring her contributions by renaming its Washington, D.C. headquarters in her honor! In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Jackson also led programs which supported the hiring and promotion of more women at NASA and served as a Girl Scout leader for more than 30 years. "Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology," says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Twenty books that explore poverty and hardship in local communities -- and cultivate kids' desire to lend a helping hand to those in need.

    For many kids, poverty and hunger are things from long ago or far away, but the truth is that financial hardship exists in our own communities as well: behind closed doors, many families struggle to provide the necessities. Divisions due to class differences can appear any time — after all, when a new “must-have” toy or clothing brand becomes popular, there are always classmates at school who can’t have it. And yet, talking to kids about poverty and class is difficult for many adults because the issues behind these problems seem too complicated or uncomfortable to explain. Continue reading Continue reading

  • With a one million franc bounty on her head, Witherington presided over the surrender of more than 18,000 German troops.

    On the night of September 22, 1943, a 29-year-old British Special Operations Executive agent parachuted into occupied France. It sounds like the beginning of a spy movie, but it’s actually the real-life story of Pearl Witherington, one of World War II’s little-known female heroes! Witherington led a network of thousands of French Maquis resistance fighters in battle against the Nazis, and even presided over the surrender of 18,000 German troops at the end of the war. Continue reading Continue reading

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