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16 Women in Engineering to Learn More About

March is Women's History Month! Learn more about women engineers and inventors in science history and get inspired by these 16 scientists!

Photo collage of eight female engineers

Women's History Month: 16 Engineers to learn more about!

Update! Our Women's History post has been updated for 2021. The engineers from this page are now part of our larger Women in STEM! More than 60 Scientists and Engineers for Women's History Month post.

As part of Women's History Month, we put together the Women in STEM! More than 60 Scientists and Engineers for Women's History Month post to highlight stories of women in science throughout history. There are so many women who could and should be included in lists like this that we separated our list into two parts: scientists and engineers (in which we are including computer science and math). Our goal in sharing these short biographies of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is to continue to help students to see that science is for everyone—and that women have been inventing, innovating, and discovering all along.

We hope seeing lists like this will inspire students to learn more about these engineers and to explore related science projects, activities, and careers. For each engineer, we have included a very short biographical note, a link to a hands-on science project or activity related to the engineer's work, a link to a relevant science career profile, and a link to a biography to help students learn more about individual engineers. Educators can use this career worksheet to guide student exploration and reflection about STEM careers.

16 Women in Engineering, Math, and Computer Science

Mary Anderson: an inventor who designed a swinging arm solution for clearing car windshields of water—the windshield wiper. Experiment with the Design a Cell Phone Stand activity. Explore: Commercial & Industrial Designer (Biography)
Edith Clarke: an electrical engineer who developed the Clarke Calculator in 1921, a graphing calculator used to help solve electric power transmission problems. Experiment with the Build Your Own Super-sensitive Electric Field Detector project. Explore: Electrical & Electronics Engineer (Biography)
Martha Coston: a chemist who used the technology of fireworks to develop a pyrotechnic signaling system for use at sea. Coston flares were used by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. Experiment with the Rainbow Fire Science Project project. Explore: Chemical Engineer (Biography)
Thelma Estrin: a biomedical engineer who helped build Israel's first computer, the WEIZAC, in 1954. Her later research included converting analog electroencephalogram signals to digital signals and mapping the human brain using computers. Experiment with the Make a Heart Rate Monitor project. Explore: Biomedical Engineer (Biography)
Irene Fischer: a mathematician whose work in geodesy included development of the Mercury Datum and research on lunar parallax used during Apollo missions. Her work contributed to what is now the World Geodetic System used by GPS technology. Experiment with the A Puzzling Parallax project. Explore: Mathematician (Biography)
Beulah Louise Henry: an inventor of more than 100 inventions. Nicknamed "Lady Edison," her patent in 1912 for a vacuum ice cream freezer was her first of 49 patents. Experiment with the Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws project. Explore: Mechanical Engineer (Biography)
Katherine Johnson: a mathematician who calculated the flight path for Alan Shepard (the first American in space) and later checked critical flight path calculations for Apollo 13. Experiment with the How Does Speed Affect Orbiting Altitude? project. Explore: Mathematician (Biography)
Stephanie Louise Kwolek: a chemist who invented Kevlar while working at DuPont to develop extremely durable synthetic fibers. Kevlar is used in many products, including bulletproof vests. Experiment with the Turn Milk into Plastic! project. Explore: Materials Scientist and Engineer (Biography)
Hedy Lamarr: an actress and inventor whose work co-developing a radio guidance system during WWII helped pave the way for modern Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS technologies. Experiment with the The Point of a Parabola: Focusing Signals for a Better Wireless Network project. Explore: Radio Frequency Engineer (Biography)
Ada Lovelace: a mathematician sometimes credited as the first computer programmer because she created the first algorithm used by an early computer prototype. Experiment with the Teach A Computer Kitty How to Draw Shapes project. Explore: Computer Programmer (Biography)
Julia Morgan: a civil engineer and architect who designed and built more than 700 buildings, including Hearst Castle and the bell tower at Mills College, which withstood the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Experiment with the Set Your Table for a Sweet and Sticky Earthquake Shake project. Explore: Architect (Biography)
Ellen Ochoa: an astronaut and engineer. Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space on the space shuttle Discovery in 1993 and logged almost 1,000 hours in orbit. As a research engineer, she focused on optical systems. She went on to serve as Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. Experiment with the Test the Webb Space Telescope's Amazing Multiple Mirrors and Sunshield project. Explore: Aerospace Engineer (Biography)
Emily Roebling: for more than ten years after her husband, the chief engineer, became ill, she helped oversee the construction and completion of the Brooklyn Bridge. Experiment with the The Effect of Bridge Design on Weight Bearing Capacity project. Explore: Civil Engineers (Biography)
Mary Ross: a mathematician who worked on designs for fighter jets planes at Lockheed Corporation during WWII. She was one of the original 40 members (and only woman) of the secret Skunk Works division. Research there included interplanetary space travel. Experiment with the Stealthy Shapes: How to Make an Aircraft Invisible to Radar project. Explore: Aerospace Engineer (Biography)
Beatrice (Tilly) Shilling: an aeronautical engineer who came up with a solution to a problem Hurricane fighter-bomber and Spitfire fighter planes had in WWII with engines stalling during dives and other negative g-force maneuvers. Experiment with the How Far Will It Fly? Build & Test Paper Planes with Different Drag project. Explore: Aerospace Engineer (Biography)
Mary Walton: a mechanical engineer who used a model train system to prototype and develop solutions for reducing noise pollution related to trains and air pollution related to trains and buildings with chimneys. Experiment with the Materials for Sound Barriers project. Explore: Mechanical Engineer (Biography)

See also: Women in STEM! More than 60 Scientists and Engineers for Women's History Month

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