Six downloadable posters celebrating women in science perfect for displaying in classrooms and kids' rooms!
Designer Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya has created a series of incredible posters celebrating women in science that are perfect for displaying in a classroom or kid's bedroom! The six posters featured here, which are free to download, were created by Amanda, a science-trained designer, to connect the Women's March to the March for Science part of her Beyond Curie design project focused on women in science.
Below each poster, we've also provided a short introduction to each of the featured scientists as well as recommended reading for both kids and adults. To download any of the posters below, click the image or the "download poster" link.
For more girl-empowering posters on a wide range of topics, visit A Mighty Girl's Art & Decor section.
To introduce kids to more inspiring female scientists from throughout history, you can find many books for children and teens in our blog post, Ignite Her Curiosity: Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls.
Women in Science Posters
NASA physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson was one of the earliest women to join NASA. Johnson's skills in celestial navigation were renowned -- among other mathematical feats, she calculated the trajectory for the space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. For her contributions to the space programs and for blazing a trail for women and African Americans at NASA, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian award, by President Barack Obama in 2015.
Resources: Katherine Johnson's story is told in the Hidden Figures film, which was adapted from the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. This book is also now available in a Hidden Figures Young Readers Edition for ages 8 to 12 and a Hidden Figures picture book adaptation for ages 5 to 9. Her story is also told in the picture book for ages 5 to 9, Counting on Katherine, and the early chapter book for ages 6 to 8, You Should Meet: Katherine Johnson.
British scientist Rosalind Franklin was the first person to discover the helix shape of DNA by using her knowledge of x-ray diffraction techniques to take the first photo of DNA. Without her permission, fellow researcher Maurice Wilkins later showed her photo to James Watson and Francis Crick, who were also trying to determine the structure of DNA. Franklin's photo, referred to as Photo 51, allowed them to deduce the structure, they published a series of articles about the discovery, only mentioning Franklin's contributions in a footnote. While Watson, Crick and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in 1962 for their contributions to science, Franklin had passed away due to cancer four years prior at the age of 37 and was not eligible for the award.
Resources: Kids can learn more about Rosalind Franklin's life and research in the first picture book about her, Rosalind Franklin (Little People, Big Dreams) for ages 5 to 8. Adult readers will enjoy the biography Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. Franklin is also one of 50 notable women featured in the illustrated biography Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers for ages 9 and up. She is one of the 52 women profiled in the book Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and The World for teen and adult readers.
In 2014, Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to ever win the Fields Medal -- known as the "Nobel Prize of mathematics" -- since the award was established in 1936. The Stanford University mathematics professor was awarded the prestigious honor for her contributions to the fields of geometry and dynamical systems.
Resources: Maryam Mirzakhani's story is told in the beautiful picture book Maryam's Magic: The Story of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani for ages 5 to 9. She is one of 50 notable women featured in the illustrated biography Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers for ages 9 and up.
May Britt Moser
Norwegian neuroscientist May-Britt Moser received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2014 for her work on the spatial reasoning capacity of the human brain. She, along with her husband Edvard Moser and colleague John O’Keefe, with whom she shared the prize, identified the grid cells that make up the brain’s positioning system, which they liken to an “inner GPS” that allows humans to orient themselves in space, and therefore to navigate their way through the world.
Resources: May-Britt Moser is one of 50 notable women featured in the illustrated biography Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers for ages 9 and up.
Chien Shiung Wu
Chinese-American physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, who was known as the "First Lady of Physics," helped revolutionize the science of nuclear physics. Wu is best known for conducting the Wu Experiment, which disproved the hypothetical law of the conservation of parity. Although Wu devised the experiment which disproved this long-held theory -- and was lauded for providing the “solution to the number-one riddle of atomic and nuclear physics" -- she was overlooked when the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two of her male colleagues, Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang, for their work on the theoretical aspect of the research.
Resources: Young readers who want to learn more about Chien-Shiung Wu can read the picture book Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom for ages 5 to 9. Wu is one of 50 notable women featured in the illustrated biography Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers for ages 9 and up. She is also one of the 52 women profiled in the book Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and The World for teen and adult readers. Wu is one of 22 notable female scientists included in the History of Women of Science poster.
NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first woman of color to travel in space during her voyage on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Jemison entered Stanford University at age 16 to study chemical engineering. She later received her medical degree from Cornell and began her career as a physician by serving as a Peace Corps Medical Officer in Africa. After Sally Ride's historic flight to space in 1983, Jemison decided to apply for the astronaut program and was accepted in 1987. She served as a Mission Specialist during her historic space flight.
Resources: Mae Jemison is the subject of the picture book Mae Among The Stars for ages 4 to 8 and the early chapter book You Should Meet: Mae Jemison for ages 6 to 8. Middle grade readers can learn more about her life, and 10 lessons from her work that they can apply to their own life, in Blast Off Into Space Like Mae Jemison for ages 9 and up. Jemison is one of 50 notable women featured in the illustrated biography Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers for ages 9 and up, and she is also featured in the book Women In Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures, recommended for teens and adults, ages 12 and up.
All posters are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA license.