March is Women’s History Month

 Here are links and lesson plans to inspire the celebration of women this month.
 
 
Meet LEGO’s “Women of NASA”

March is Women’s History Month. Why not celebrate with this LEGO “Women of NASA” set. The iconic toy company announced that the concept was the winner of its LEGO Ideas competition. It honors female astronauts, mathematicians and other pioneers of the space program. More >

Discussion Questions

Grades 3-4: Name a woman who inspires you. What about this woman do you find to be inspiring? What does she inspire you to do?

Grades 5-6: Have you ever noticed the difference between “boy” and “girl” toys? In what ways do you think the differences you see could affect how you play, the way you think and the career you choose to pursue in the future?

Grades 7-8: According to the article, a 7-year-old named Charlotte wrote to LEGO in 2014 complaining that the company’s female figurines were lame. In response, LEGO launched a limited-edition product featuring female scientists. Why do you think that set sold out so quickly? What do you think LEGO and other toy manufacturers should learn from this incident?

Grades 9-10: Do you think more girls would go into STEM careers if the toys they played with as children had more of a STEM focus? Why or why not?

Lesson

Design a Female LEGO Figurine
Students will select a woman who works in a STEM field, design a LEGO figurine of her and write a letter to LEGO explaining why the woman deserves to be featured as an official LEGO figurine.

Smithsonian Resources

Women in Science
Invite students to explore this site developed by the Chandra X-ray Center to learn about women in STEM, both acknowledged and unknown, for their roles in the exploration of the world and universe around us. The site includes biographies, activities, free posters you can download and a list of other resources you can use to teach students more about women in STEM.

The Women Paving the Way to Mars
Use this Smithsonian Learning Lab collection to teach students about women in the aerospace industry, from the early pioneers to those helping pave the way to Mars. The collection, originally created as a “Stem in 30” activity at the National Air and Space Museum, includes lesson plans, teacher resources, videos, articles and photos.

Smithsonian Women Scientists
From hunting meteorites in Antarctica to exploring the farthest reaches of the universe from remote mountaintops, Smithsonian women scientists are an adventurous group. Introduce students to some of these outstanding women with this site from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Women and Science at Science Service
This exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Archives highlights the careers of five women pioneers in the field of science journalism. Encourage students to read about these women who, through their bylines, conveyed an important message: women could not only understand science but they could explain it well to others.

Smithsonian Magazine: Women in Science
Review this special report from Smithsonian Magazine to learn about a variety of women who currently work in STEM-related fields.

Robotics Can Get Girls Into STEM, but Some Still Need Convincing
The lack of women leaders in STEM creates “a catch-22 death spiral.” Read this Smithsonian article to learn how robotics teams are trying to change that.

Also on TweenTribune.com

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Toy maker offers sleepover in LEGO house

Astronauts teach “lost lessons” to honor Challenger Shuttle astronaut, Christa McAuliffe

The true story of “Hidden Figures”

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