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Category: inventors
  • Dr. Frances Arnold, who pioneered the field of "directed evolution," became the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Dr. Frances Arnold has just been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the field of "directed evolution"  —  becoming the first American woman in history and the fifth woman overall to be honored.  The method she developed of engineering enzymes that mimic the process of natural selection has created a revolutionary new way for scientists and engineers to design more environmentally-friendly industrial processes. It's now being used in laboratories around the world to develop enzymes that can replace toxic compounds in everything from medicines to biofuels to laundry detergents. “My entire career I have been concerned about the damage we are doing to the planet and each other,” she says. “Change is easier when there are good, economically viable alternatives to harmful habits.” 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!

    In honor of the remarkable women whose breakthroughs have advanced technology and the ease of our day to day lives, we're sharing the stories of twenty ingenious women whose inventions have changed the world. Whether they were scribbling designs two centuries ago or are still working today, these clever creators deserve to have their stories told. We've also included a few stories of modern-day Mighty Girls who have taken up the challenge of becoming the inventors of today — and tomorrow.

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, where possible we're also sharing reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these innovative women. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Stephanie Kwolek's invention of Kevlar has saved countless lives over the past 40 years.

    Stephanie Kwolek's invention of Kevlar has saved countless lives over the past 40 years. Kevlar is a fiber five times stronger than steel that is now used in numerous products ranging from boots for firefighters to spacecraft — and most famously, in bulletproof vests. It's estimated that since Kevlar's introduction to body armor in the 1970s, the lives of over 3,000 police officers have been saved, as well as those of innumerable soldiers and others in conflict zones. On the day that the pioneering chemist passed away in June 2014 at the age of 90, DuPont announced that the one-millionth protective vest made using Kwolek's lifesaving invention was sold. Continue reading Continue reading

  • These Mighty Girls are national finalists in the premier science competition for middle schoolers!

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier science competition in the U.S. for middle school kids and, like every year, the Mighty Girls in the competition continue to astound! The event challenges kids in 5th through 8th grades to use their scientific know-how to come up with an invention or solution that addresses an everyday problem. Whether it's an issue that affects themselves, their family, their community, or the whole world, they get to turn their ingenuity and drive towards making a difference — and every year, it's amazing what these young scientists think up!

    This year, three of the national finalists are Mighty Girl scientists! These Young Scientist finalists will be spending their summers working with mentors to develop their visions into a more polished prototype, and we can't wait to see the results at the finals in October, where they'll be vying for a $25,000 prize and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" for 2018.

    In this blog post, we introduce you to these clever and creative Mighty Girls and their incredible projects. From using infrared light to detect microplastics in ocean water to designing a water-saving toilet flushing system to using alginate gel to relieve dental pain, these Mighty Girls' inventive solutions to everyday problems will inspire science lovers of every age! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Six of the ten national finalists in the premier science competition for middle schoolers are Mighty Girls! In this post, we introduce the girls and their incredible projects.

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier science competition in the U.S. for middle school kids and, like every year, the Mighty Girls in the competition continue to astound! The event challenges kids in 5th through 8th grades to use their scientific know-how to come up with an invention or solution that addresses an everyday problem. Whether it's an issue that affects themselves, their family, their community, or the whole world, they get to turn their ingenuity and drive towards making a difference — and every year, it's amazing what these young scientists think up!

    This year, in a show of how girls and women are on the leading edge of science, six out of the ten national finalists are Mighty Girl scientists! These Young Scientist finalists will be spending their summers working with mentors to develop their visions into a more polished prototype, and we can't wait to see the results at the finals in October, where they'll be vying for a $25,000 prize and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" for 2017.

    In this blog post, we introduce you to these six clever and creative Mighty Girls and their incredible projects. From harnessing an unexpected source of clean energy to cleaning up oil spills with everyday materials to changing the way we design medical equipment for kids, these Mighty Girls' inventive solutions to everyday problems will inspire science lovers of every age! Continue reading Continue reading

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