Celebrating STEM Women’s History Month in the IRC

120In the IRC we are celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and their accomplishments during March, which is Women’s History Month.

A new display highlights accomplishments of women like Elizabeth Blackwell (1821 – 1910), who was the first female licensed doctor in the United States; and Dian Fossey (1932 – 1985), primatologist, anthropologist and naturalist who made an extensive study of gorilla groups during 18 years before she was brutally murdered.

119The display also includes information about women’s inventions. Here are some fun facts:

The care heater was invented by Margaret A. Wilcos in 1893. Wilcos also invented a combination clothes and dishwasher.

The board game Monopoly was invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1904. Magie called her new game “The Landlord’s Game” and it was a critique of the injustices of unchecked capitalism.

The Fire Escape was invented by Anna Connelly in 1887.

The life raft was invented by Maria Beasely in 1882 after she observed that large numbers of people were dying in transportation disasters. She also invented a machine for making barrels.

In 1947 Maria Telke, Ph.D., a physicist and solar power pioneer, teamed up with architect Eleanor Raymond to build the first home entirely heated by solar power.

Actress Hedy Lamarr invented a secret communications system during World War II which employed “frequency hopping” technology that laid the technological groundwork for everything from WIFI to GPS.

Stop by the IRC to find out more about the wonderful women who have made our world a better place.

118All the books on display can be checked out, and if you feel inspired by these women and would like to embark on your own enterprising invention path, check out “Make:Technology on Your Own Time” on the magazine shelves in the IRC.

Thanks to IRC staff Jeanette Clark, Connie James-Jenkin and Nancy Pavlik for putting this display together.