3 out of 4 stars
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In the past, science, as well as many other intellectual endeavors were seen to be fields reserved for men. Women were, and still are, under-represented. If women did contribute, their contributions were given little, if any recognition. A few good women in Science and Engineering is a brief look at some of the most important women who have impacted these fields. It is written by Zeena Nackerdien. The book is non-fiction and is in the form of an illustrated brochure. It is geared towards kids, in order to stimulate their interest in this subject.
The book is divided into short segments. Each segment is dedicated to a specific female. A short summary is given about them and their contribution to their field. A few of the segments include two females if they contributed as a pair; such as the mother and daughter team, Marie Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie.
There is a total of 26 females mentioned in the book. Among the females noted these are the ones that I found most interesting:
Beatrix Potter: Many people know Beatrix Potter for her amusing stories about woodland creatures. Peter Rabbit, one of her creations, was certainly a big part of my childhood. However, many don’t know that Beatrix Potter also had another passion. She did many experiments and researched about fungi. She also illustrated them in detail. Her research made an important contribution to the field of biology.
Kathryn Johnson: I had heard of her name before in regard to a film that had been made based on her and several other African American women’s lives, yet I didn’t know much about her. Kathryn Johnson worked at NASA and made critical contributions to the space program. She calculated the trajectory of Americas first space trip and also worked on several other space programs.
Stephanie Louise-Kwolek: This is another female that made an important contribution. She can be credited with the invention of Kevlar which is the name of a synthetic fiber. This can be used in fiber optic cables, tires, and bulletproof vests.
I enjoyed reading this brochure. It certainly taught me about several important contributions by women that I did not know about. I think books like these are important and necessary to educate, and more importantly to inspire readers to know that gender shouldn't hold one back. Both boys and girls should be encouraged to search and engage their passions.
Included are also pictures of each of the females throughout the book. The sketches are placed after each segment about a specific female. The sketches include a picture of the female and a few pictures indicating the field she contributed to. The author placed the sketches in the hope that children would color them in while learning about these marvelous women. The author says that she hopes that this brochure will inspire kids to research or Google more about these figures. Indeed, it did inspire me to further research some of these women in more detail.
Although this book is geared towards children or teens, it would even interest adults who want to read a summarised version on this topic. I would definitely recommend it to all those passionate about learning, or those looking for a book to inspire them to contribute more themselves.
When judging the book, I took into consideration that it is intended to be a brochure, which meant it is rather short and doesn't have too much information. However, what I probably found most disappointing about the book was its pictures. They were, in my opinion, too simplistic, and rather uninteresting, especially considering that it is geared towards kids. This is why I am rating this book a 3 out of 4 stars.
A few good women in science and engineering
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