Reading List: Women in STEM

Reading Lists

Reading List Curated by Rachel

Although I picked up Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers who Changed the World for its charming illustrations, the content is fascinating and makes me want to seek out everything I can on even more rad women. Feel the same way? Here are a few to get started!

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Ada’s Algorithm: How Lord Byron’s Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age by James Essinger
The world’s first computer programmer and daughter of Lord Byron finally gets credit for her research in this short biography based on ten years of research. Filled with fascinating characters and observations of the period, not to mention numerous illustrations, Essinger tells Ada’s story in unprecedented detail to absorbing and inspiring effect.

Codegirl – Join high school-aged girls from around the world as they try to better their communities through technology and collaboration at The Technovation Challenge, which aims to empower girls worldwide to develop apps for local problems.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh
The story of how women throughout the ages have responded to situations confronting them in daily life by inventing such items as correction fluid, space helmets, and disposable diapers.

Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt Beyer
The career of computer visionary Grace Murray Hopper is explored in this biography, whose innovative work in programming laid the foundations for the user-friendliness of today’s personal computers that sparked the information age.

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World  by Rachel Swaby
Read profiles of over fifty of history’s most remarkable women scientists, including Rachel Carson, Rosalind Franklin, Sally Ride, and Ada Lovelace.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.

Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family by Shelley Emling
The life of the Nobel Prize-winning pioneer of radiation therapy with focus on her roles as a young widow and mother of two daughters, including Nobel Prize-winning chemist Irene and humanitarian journalist Eve, in an account that draws on descendant interviews and new archives.

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Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
An engrossing, graphically illustrated introduction to the lives and work of three eminent primatologists shares insights into their educations under mentor Louis Leakey while exploring their pivotal contributions to 20th-century natural science.

Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz
26 American women from the 18th through 21st centuries, who have made – or are still making – history as artists, writers, teachers, lawyers, or athletes.

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz
Forty biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world, including Hatshepsut, Malala Yousafzi, Ann Bancroft, and many more.

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt
This book traces the pivotal achievements of the elite female science recruits at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where, in the mid-twentieth century, they transformed rocket design and enabled the creation of the first American satellites.

Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist by George D. Morgan
Combining personal history with dramatic historical events, this extraordinary true story of America’s first female rocket scientist shows how her talent for chemistry proved essential for America’s early space program.

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr
A definitive portrait of the history-making first American woman astronaut includes coverage of her service aboard the panel that investigated the shuttle disasters, her co-founding of a science-education organization for girls, and her guarded personal life.

The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
A remarkable look at the day-to-day life of the codebreakers whose clandestine efforts helped win World War II.

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
An alternate history in which Charles Babbage and Ada, Countess of Lovelace, build the “Difference Engine” and use it to explore the wilder realms of mathematics and fight crime for the sake of both London and science.

Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers, and Landscape Designers by Anna M. Lewis
An inspirational anthology about historical and contemporary female role models in the disciplines of engineering and design, which places many of their stories against landmark historical events while sharing insight into the experiences that motivated their achievements.

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
A fun and feminist look at the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers and inventors, along with interviews with real-life women in STEM careers.