Women in STEM Timeline

Timeline depicting key STEM figures

Unfortunately, not every major innovation makes international fame and the front page of history books. Let's take a moment to recognize major innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), that flew too far under the radar. 

Call to Action: Where's your flying car? Find out how close the future actually is. click to go!1843: The First Computer Program. Ada Lovelace, noted mathematician and English countess, recognizes Charles Babbage’s Analytic Engine potential to the future. Lovelace wrote the first machine algorithm for the theoretical Analytic Engine and earned her designation as the first programmer.

1902: Discovery of Radium. Marie Curie, a Polish-French physicist, discovers the element radium with her husband Pierre Currie and pioneers the field of radioactivity. Marie would become the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for her achievements.

1938: Discovery of Nuclear Fission. Lise Meitner, an Austrian-Swedish physicist, discovers nuclear fission working with her nephew Otto Robert Frisch. Only Frisch would later receive the 1944 Nobel Prize for this discovery, with Meitner’s accomplishments being overlooked.

1961: Calculations sent the first U.S. Astronaut to Space. The first African-American woman employed as a NASA scientist, Katherine Johnson, calculations of trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths enabled human-crewed spaceflight.

1972: Discovery of Malaria Treatment. Tu YouYou, a Chinese chemist, discovers the first treatment for malaria. This discovery prevents millions of deaths yearly from the disease.

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2019: First Image of a Black Hole. Katie Bouman, an American computer scientist, led the development of a program that captured the first image of a black hole. Capturing a picture of a black hole was something previously thought impossible.

2020: Development of a COVID Vaccine. The research of Katalin Karikó, a Hungarian-American biochemist, into mRNA enabled BioNTech and Moderna to develop COVID-19 vaccines.

Did we miss your favorite STEM achievement? Tell us in the comments.

Sources: 
Ada Lovelace Biography 

Katherine Johnson Biography

Katie Bouman Biography

Marie Curie Biography