The Chalk Blog

This blog was originally published on iteach on March 1st, 2021.

Celebrate Women’s History Month

Women are amazing and we are excited to take the entire month of March to celebrate Women’s History. At the bottom of this post, you will find Women’s History links that are helpful to teachers as well as some general information on Women’s History month and how it got started. It was started by a teacher who realized that there wasn’t enough representation of women in history books. It started as a single day, then it became a week, and now there is an entire month dedicated to women’s history.

In the video below, Emily Krichbaum talks about Remembering the Ladies. “In 2018, Krichbaum founded Remember The Ladies, a non-profit organization that helps teachers and school districts incorporate more women’s history into American history classrooms.” (YouTube)

Remember The Ladies: The Importance of Women’s History | Emily Krichbaum

Currently, less than 10% of American history curriculum focuses on women. And, of that 10%, 60% highlights American women as the helpmate and domestic partner. How are these selected historical examples shaping the attitudes of young boys and self-esteem of young girls?

What would happen if we included more and more diverse stories of American women in American history–and young girls begin to see themselves in the curriculum they study?

An expert in American women’s history and politics, Dr. Emily Krichbaum earned her doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and authored numerous articles on nineteenth and twentieth-century reformers. Her most recent work on Elizabeth Cady Stanton will be published by the University of Notre Dame press in 2020.

Scientist Mary Jackson

Did you see the movie Hidden Figures? If you didn’t, you are missing out. If you did, you may have been like me – marveling at these women who overcome their circumstances and provided brilliant contributions to science and history. Mary Jackson was one of the scientists that was depicted in Hidden Figures. She was a physicist and mathematician and in 1958 became NASA’s first black female engineer. In 2019 she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and just last month, NASA’s DC headquarters were renamed for Mary Jackson. (CNN)

According to Nasa.gov:

Mary retired from Langley in 1985. Among her many honors were an Apollo Group Achievement Award, and being named Langley’s Volunteer of the Year in 1976. She served as the chair of one of the center’s annual United Way campaigns, was a Girl Scout troop leader for more than three decades, and a member of the National Technical Association (the oldest African American technical organization in the United States).  She and her husband Levi had an open-door policy for young Langley recruits trying to gain their footing in a new town and a new career. A 1976 Langley Researcher profile might have done the best job capturing Mary’s spirit and character, calling her a “gentlelady, wife and mother, humanitarian and scientist.” For Mary W. Jackson, science and service went hand in hand. (NASA)

Mary Jackson is a prime example of a woman who made history even when faced with many challenges. Recently, I saw a clip on social media of a young girl who is like Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn. She can calculate unbelievably complex numbers in her head. In the video below Apoorva Panidapu is following in the footsteps of these iconic ladies. If you read her LinkedIn page, her “about” section reads:

Apoorva Panidapu is a 15-year-old high-school sophomore in San Jose, California. She wears many hats; she’s a student, a teacher, an aspiring mathematician, an artist, a social entrepreneur, and a public speaker who loves helping kids around the world. Apoorva started taking college classes at age 11, and has since completed several upper-division and graduate-level mathematics courses with a keen interest in Number Theory. She attended the prestigious Canada/USA Mathcamp (2018, 2019) and the highly selective University of Virginia REU in 2020 as the youngest student there. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work with world-renowned mathematicians in her fields of interest and has co-authored and published papers in Number Theory–one of which was published in the prestigious Journal of Number Theory.

Apoorva has received several worldwide recognitions for her achievements in mathematics, such as her performance in NBC National TV show Genius Junior in 2018 hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and global awards such as the prestigious Spirit of Ramanujan Fellowship & has been selected as a World Science Scholar, one among few in the world. She is also a recipient of the 2020 Global Child Prodigy Award.

Apoorva is also an enthusiastic artist who loves to oil paint and sketch portraits. She is the founder of Apoorva Panidapu’s Art Gallery (www.apoorvaartgallery.com), an online platform to share her artwork and raise funds for charity. She particularly enjoys impressionistic and abstract artworks. Her story and paintings were featured on Artists for Peace, Stone Soup, and Ellen and Cheerio’s “One Million Acts of Good.” She is also the grand prize winner of NASA Langley Research Center’s Centennial Student Art Contest, as well as a recipient of four Presidential Volunteer Service Awards.

Apoorva is also a public speaker who encourages girls, gender minorities, and all youth to pursue STEAM fearlessly. In addition to her art gallery and Gems in STEM, she is a global ambassador for GLAM (Girls Leadership Academy Meetup), where she helps encourage girls aged 8-12 from diverse backgrounds to pursue leadership and careers in tech. Her mission is to encourage others to use their gifts to make a difference in the world. She has helped raise more than $25,000 to support children around the world by using her gifts in math and art to try and give back.

In her spare time, Apoorva enjoys playing the violin, practicing kung fu, and reading classical literature. Apoorva aspires to combine pure mathematics, art, and humanities to change the world.

I love the beginning and the end of this description of Apoorva, “she is a student and a teacher… she aspires… to change the world.” (LinkedIn)

Genius Junior Finals - Human Calculator


Become a Teacher. Change Lives.

If you are passionate about impacting the world around you there are few places where you can influence the future as much as a teacher. Teachers have the ability to build students up and set them on a positive course that can have a ripple effect for future generations.

If you are interested in becoming a teacher, check out iteach's online teacher certification program and you could be teaching in a matter of weeks.

Apply Now!

Recommended Posts