Saturday, February 11, 2017

Education : Intl Day of Women & Girls in Science : Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson [1918-20209]
credits: via MSNBC

Katherine Johnson sits at her desk with a globe or 'Celestial Training Device'
credits: NASA

Today we celebrate #WomenInScience because gender equality and women’s empowerment are pre-conditions 4 sustainable development.

Just like NASA’s Katherine Johnson, many #WomenInScience have remained hidden figures Today is about shining a light & confronting stereotypes.

"I counted everything: the steps, the dishes, the stars in the sky," 

Katherine Johnson 

Katherine Johnson 
Presidential Medal of Freedom Honorees, 2015
credits: Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson in Washington, November 24, 2015.

Maths has given her joy for as long as she can remember, and it seems that becoming a professional mathematician was her destiny. As an African-American woman from rural West Virginia, however, the path that brought her to the profession seems as extraordinary as the equations she used to help send John Glenn into orbit around the earth and land Neil Armstrong on the moon.

credits: UNESCO

"Girls continue to face stereotypes and social and cultural restrictions, limiting access to education and funding for research, preventing them from scientific careers and reaching their full potential. Women remain a minority in science research and decision-making. This throws a shadow over all efforts to reach the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – both of which highlight the key roles of gender equality and science." Just 28% of researchers are women. 

Did you know that though 25% of boys and girls report they expect to work in science, they opt for very different careers? Boys are twice as likely as girls to expect to work as engineers, scientists or architects, on average across OECD countries.


The day must be inspirational for girls to study STEM. Promoting the work of women in science and encouraging girls to enter the sciences is important for achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Goal 4

credits: Elyx Yak

So, the gap of girls and young women in science and technology in the 21st century is still a big problem. We must  motivate the young girls to pursuit Science studies.

Girls do as well as boys in science and maths at school but many more boys go on to further study science, technology and engineering.

As you read below statistics show that there is a noticeable gender gap, with much fewer girls choosing to study for STEM degrees. So the need for change is becoming increasingly urgent. 

credits: UNESCO

STEM subjects are still male dominated. And only about half of female Stem graduates go on to work in Stem roles. 

This may be due to lack of encouragement from parents, teachers or classmates, or down to the individual – they simply believe they are better suited to a different role."

  • Katherine Johnson:


Hidden Figures
Thedore Melfi, 2016
Oscars 2017 nominee
Organize a school-out activity and go to the theater next to school to see the nominee film Hidden Figures.
The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians and scientists, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan  and Mary Jackson who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program. 

When asked to name her greatest contribution to space exploration, Katherine Johnson talks about the calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Lander with the moon-orbiting Command and Service Module. She also worked on the Space Shuttle and the Earth Resources Satellite, and authored or coauthored 26 research reports.


Hidden Figures
Katherine Johnson/ Tariji P. Henson
Thedore Melfi, 2016
LA Times/ Science Now
"The International Day of Women and Girls in Science will directly influence the perception of women in science for sustainable development and elevate the contributions of women in science, past, present and future that equitably reflects the aspirations and ambitions of all global citizens."

Copyright © 2017G-Souto'sBlog,®
Creative Commons License
Education : Intl Day of Women & Girls in Science : Katherine Johnson bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

No comments:

Post a Comment