Women in Anthropology

Women in Chemistry

Women in Engineering

Women in Environmental Sciences

Women in Information Technology

Women in Medicine

Women in Physics

Women in Space Exploration

Women Inventors



By Andrew Morkes and Shaina Indovino

Mason Crest Philadelphia • Miami

PO Box 221876, Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-4499-9 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4222-4508-8 ebook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7312-8 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress Developed and produced by National Highlights, Inc. Production: Andy Morkes Cover Design: Creative Tara Interior layout: Priceless Digital Media Publisher’s Note: Websites listed in this book were active at the time of publication. The publisher is not responsible for websites that have changed their address or discontinued operation since the date of publication. The publisher reviews and updates the websites each time the book is reprinted.

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WORDS TO UNDERSTAND: These words, with their easy-to-understand definitions, will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. SIDEBARS: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. RESEARCH PROJECTS: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Chapter 1: What Does It Take to Be an Inventor? 10 Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Fuller Brown: Nystatin Inventors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Chapter 2: Terms of the Trade 32 Madam C J Walker: Haircare Product Inventor and Entrepreneur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Chapter 3: Educational Training and Salaries 46 Stephanie Kwolek: Inventor of Body Armor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Chapter 4: Exploring Careers in Inventing 60 Edith Flanigen: New Uses for Zeolites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Chapter 5: The Future of Inventing and Careers 78 Patsy Sherman: Inventor of Scotchgard® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Further Reading and Internet Resources 90 Educational Video Links 91 Index 92 Photo Credits 95 Author and Consultant Biographies 96 Key Icons to Look For


Have you wondered how the natural world works? Are you curious how science could help sick people get better? Do you want to learn more about our planet and universe? Are you excited to use technology to learn and share ideas? Do you want to build something new? Scientists, engineers, and doctors are among the many types of people who think deeply about science and nature, who often have new ideas on how to improve life in our world. We live in a remarkable time in human

history. The level of understanding and rate of progress in science and technology have never been greater. Major advances in these areas include the following: • Computer scientists and engineers are building

mobile and internet technology to help people access and share information at incredible speeds.

• Biologists and chemists are

creating medicines that can target and get rid of harmful cancer cells in the body.


• Engineers are guiding robots on Mars to explore the history of water on that planet. • Physicists are using math and experiments to estimate the age of the universe to be greater than 13 billion years. • Scientists and engineers are building hybrid cars that can be better for our environment. Scientists are interested in discovering and understanding key principles in nature, including biological, chemical, mathematical, and physical aspects of our world. They observe, measure, and experiment in a systematic way in order to test and improve their understanding. Engineers focus on applying scientific knowledge and math to find creative solutions for technical problems and to develop real products for people to use. There are many types of engineering, including computer, electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical, and biomedical engineering. Some people have also found that studying science or engineering can help them succeed in other professions such as law, business, and medicine. Both women and men can be successful in science and engineering. This series provides information on education and careers in a variety of science fields. It also highlights women leaders who have made significant contributions across many scientific fields, including chemistry, medicine, anthropology, engineering, and physics. Historically, women have faced barriers to training and building careers in science, which makes some of these stories even more amazing. While not all barriers have been overcome, our society has made tremendous progress in educating and advancing women in science. Today, there are schools, organizations, and resources that help women to pursue careers as scientists or engineers at the highest levels of achievement and leadership. The goals of this series are to help you with the following: 1. Learn about women scientists, engineers, doctors, and inventors who have made a major impact in science and our society 2. Understand different types of science and engineering and key terms in these fields



3. Learn more about the variety of educational paths one can pursue to enter these careers

4. Explore science and math in school and real life 5. Learn about the employment outlook in science and engineering specialties


You can do a lot of things to learn more about science, math, and engineering. Explore topics in books or online, take a class at school, go to science camp, or do experiments at home. More important, talk to a real scientist, doctor, or engineer! Call or email your local college to find students and professors. They would love to meet with you. Ask your doctors about their education and training. Or you can check out these helpful resources: • NOVA has very cool videos about science, including profiles on real-life women scientists and engineers: www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova. • National Geographic has excellent photos and stories to inspire people to care about the planet: www.nationalgeographic.com/science. Here are examples of online courses for students, of which many are free: 1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare for high school: https://ocw.mit.edu/high-school 2. Khan Academy tutorials and courses: www.khanacademy.org 3. Stanford University Online High School: https://onlinehighschool.stanford.edu Other skills will become important as you get older. Build strong communication skills by asking questions and sharing your ideas in class. Ask for advice or help when needed from your teachers, mentors, tutors, or classmates. Be curious and resilient: Learn from your successes and mistakes. The best scientists and engineers do. Learning science and math is one of the most important things that you can do in school. Knowledge and experience in these areas will teach you how to think and how the world works, and they can provide you with many adventures and paths in life. I hope you will explore science, engineering, and medicine—you could make a difference in this world. Ann Lee-Karlon, PhD Past-President, Association for Women in Science




Words to Understand augmented reality: a computer-generated system that combines a virtual environment that contains imaginary digital elements (video game characters, 3–D models, train schedules, facts about a historical site, etc.) with a real environment complex: having many different and connected parts

prototype: a preliminary model that is created before the finished product is built; a prototype is used to test the components of a product or system to see if they work well together before money and time are spent producing the final product revolutionized: changed dramatically technology: the machinery and tools created using scientific knowledge


INVENTIONS AND INVENTORS Have you ever looked at a smartphone, computer, video game, or other type of technology and thought about how you could make it better? Or have you ever seen a problem in daily life (such as pollution, a traffic jam, or a tool that’s hard to use) and found yourself creating a solution to fix it in your head? If so, then you just might be an inventor! Inventors are people who come up with new ideas—and then turn those ideas into reality. They create brand-new things that have never existed before or totally different approaches to doing something. They look for ways to solve problems and improve on existing ideas to develop a useful item that fills a need. Some have changed the way the entire world lives! An invention can also make an existing process faster, less expensive, stronger, or otherwise better.

Internal combustion

engines are just one of countless inventions that have improved our lives.



Think about it. Agriculture was invented by someone. Without farming, human beings would not have been able to settle down and build societies. Can you imagine what it would be like if we were still hunters and gatherers? Or what about the wheel? Imagine where we would be if no one had ever come up with this simple but powerful invention! Think about what you do on a daily basis. The food you eat, the house you live in, and even the bus you ride to school are all complex inventions. But they were not always this complicated. An invention that has been around for a long time The Browns planned to pursue commercial opportunities for the patent, but it appears they did not do so. However, their invention inspired many of the home security systems we use today. More than ten inventors have cited the Browns’ patent when applying for patents for their own devices. Marie Brown died in Queens on February 2, 1999. INVENTOR PROFILE: MARIE BROWN Marie Brown (née Van Brittan), an African American nurse, was the inventor of the first home security system. She is also credited with inventing the first closed-circuit television system. Brown was born in Queens, New York, on October 22, 1922. Her husband, Albert Brown, an electronics technician, was away at work many nights, and she worried about the high level of crime in her neighborhood. Brown wanted a way to see and hear who was at the door from any room in her house. In 1966, she created a design that included a closed- circuit security system that monitored visitors via camera and transmitted their images onto a television monitor; cameras that would slide over peepholes to capture images of who was at the door; microphones that allowed a resident to talk with the person at the door; a remote control option that allowed users to lock or unlock the door; and a panic button that could be used to contact the police. Brown and her husband filed the patent for her “Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance” on August 1, 1966. Their application was approved on December 2, 1969. A New York Times article about the couple stated that “with the patented system, a woman alone in the house could alarm the neighborhood immediately by pressing a button, and installed in a doctor’s office it might prevent holdups by drug addicts.”



Learn more about Marie Brown, the inventor of the first home security system

can always be added to or improved. Without the internal combustion engine, for example, the school bus would never have been developed. Even very old inventions like the wheel continue to be improved; today, scientists are still looking for ways to make better tires. New inventions are always being created— inventors will never be out of a job! Not all inventors are scientists. Some are simply good at solving problems and coming up with new ideas. However, many do have scientific backgrounds. WHAT IS A PATENT? A patent is a property right for an invention that is granted by a government to the inventor. A United States patent gives inventors the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling their invention throughout the United States or importing their invention into the United States” for a limited period of time. The patent makes sure that no one else can claim credit for an invention besides the inventor—and that no one else can sell it either.


A 1935 patent illustration for an Easter rabbit railroad toy.


WHY BE AN INVENTOR? Inventors change the world. They save people time by developing labor-saving devices (such as vacuum cleaners and power lawn mowers). They create new ways of communicating—like the telephone and the internet—linking people all around the world. Sometimes they make the world a safer place; the invention of seat belts, for example, makes riding in a car much safer, and modern medicine helps most of us survive to a ripe old age. As recently as 1900, the life expectancy in the United States for a male was about 46 years and approximately 48 years for a female, while today, thanks to countless modern inventions, most people in the developed world live past 80! Many inventions simply make life easier in some way. Computers, for example, make communicating, calculating, designing, analyzing vast amounts of data, solving problems, and many other tasks far faster and easier. Eyeglasses allow

Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game.



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