Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Schools : Great Women Breaking Gender Barrier

Amelia Earhart
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."

Amelia Earhart

115 years following her birth, Google is honouring the 150th birthday of the pioneering American aviator (and author) Amelia EarhartSeventy five years after her disappearance, the aviation heroine's end still remains an enigma.

Google doodle Amelia Earhart's 115th Birthday
The Doodle beautifully designed on Amelia Earhart's anniversary shows her climbing up her Lockheed Vega 5B monoplane, Earhart's yellow scarf fluttering in the wind.

The Google letters take the place of the original registration number of the Lockheed Vega 5b - NR-7952 - painted below the wings of the aircraft.

Some biographical facts:

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24th, 1897. In 1937 she started an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe. But Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean.

Amelia Earhart

Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean alone on May 20-21, 1932. She had originally intended to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight and fly to Paris. Her flight that lasted 14 hours and 56 minutes landed in a pasture in Culmore, Northern Ireland. 

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5b is now a part of the collection of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Amelia Earhart stands in front of her bi-plane called 'Friendship' in Newfoundland June 14, 1928
credits: Getty Images
She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.
On July 2, 1937, Earhart set out to fly around the world in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra along with her navigator Fred Noonan. But the plane vanished in the central Pacific Ocean. At the time of their disappearance Earhart and Noonan had completed more than two-thirds of their intended distance.

Amelia Earhart
This disappearance of the celebrated pilot is aviation history's one of the most enduring mysteries and efforts are underway to solve it. 

Sally Ride

But today holds significance for two pioneer women: Sally Ride, who died the 23 July 2012. Sally was the first woman in space. Amelia Earhart, whose birthday is today. Amelia was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Both are very important in human history because they demonstraed to other women what can be done. In their own words, they motivated women across the world to be break the gender.

Sally Ride

"Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve"

Sally Ride broke the gender barrier when she stepped into the male bastion that was space travel 29 years ago by orbiting aboard space shuttle Challenger to become America’s first woman in space. 

Sally Ride, Ph.D., an astronaut and physicist who in 1983 at the age of 32 became the first American woman (and at the time, the youngest person ever) to enter space.

She joined NASA in 1978, attracted by the organization’s very first campaign to attract female astronauts.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism – and literally changed the face of America’s space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly." 

As someone has said, when Sally Ride climbed into the Challenger on June 18 1983, and the hatch shut close behind her, a far bigger cultural door opened for women around the world.

Gender Equality


"Despite numerous improvements in women’s educational and employment outcomes, many countries have not achieved gender equality in economic opportunities and outcomes."


Often, I write about gender equality. Girls are proving more and more in different situations in school and business that they are equal to men in their intelligence and capacity.

This begins early in school where girls must be encouraged to access to science and techonoly.

The aim is to encourage creativity in the field of science and new technologies and highlight the importance of developing innovative skills at an early age. 

"This starts early, with quality education for all girls and young women from the primary to the tertiary level. It continues with vocational training and education for women who have not acquired basic skills. It proceeds with creating positive role models and career tracks – especially in such areas as science and technology."

Resources for teachers : Amelia Earhart 

Amelia, a biographical film about Earhart that refreshed everyone's memories of learning about Amelia. The movie also provides an avenue for younger generations to be able to experience Amelia's life.

Amelia was directed by a woman, Mira Nair born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard.

Mira Nair, 2009

  • Including films into school curriculum: 

Movies are an attractive and enjoyable digital resource to explore in school curricula.

I wrote different posts about this resource. Please read here (English language) or here (French language). But there are a lot more. You will find different posts on this blog

Young people love biographical movies or movies based on children or youth literary books.

The Search for Amelia Earhart/ app
  • Games & apps:
“The Search for Amelia Earhart offers a fun way to learn about this accomplished aviator and her story. It makes a wonderful game for a family with younger kids, aviation fans and people interested in history.”

You can easily include into your curriculum. Students love games and solve mysteries.


Follow Amelia Earhart’s life through space and time to learn about her accomplishments and discover what could have really happened to her on her last flight. Students will be excited trying to discover the truth of what really happened on that long flight so many years ago!

The Search for Amelia Earhart/ app

App "Solve Amelia Earhart disappearance" is available free version for the iPad from iTunes However there is a full version of the app available at a cost of $4.99.

Amelia Earhart: Queen of the Air 

(Biography Audiobooks)

  • Audio books:
The audiobook Amelia Earhart: Queen of th Airapp for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, is a biography of the exceptional woman (Spanish language available as well at a cost of £1.99 from iTunes.

screenshot Who was Amelia Earhart/app

Resources for teachers : Sally Ride 

After retiring from NASA in 1987, Sally Ride dedicated a great deal of time encouraging children, specially girls to study in HE science and technology

In 2001, she created Sally Ride Science, which is aimed at making entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students to spark her interest in science.

She is the author of six books for children dealing with math, science and technology. 

When I Grow up
Sally Ride

Sally Ride Science website has different resources that Educators can explore.

"The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune."

Amelia Earhart


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Schools : Great women breaking gender barrier by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Amelia Earhart

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