Celebrating Famous Women in Science Who Have Impacted the World

2 Min Read
Famous Female Scientists

Photo: Astronomer Dr. Sarah Ballard.

Throughout history, women have played a role in shaping society through their contributions to scientific fields ranging from engineering to astronomy to chemistry and biology. For example, take Elizabeth Blackwell—the first woman in America to earn a medical degree. As discussed in the following HISTORY® video, she used her talent and skills to support Union soldiers during the American Civil War.

Whether during Women’s History Month or at another time during the school year, you can shed light on the accomplishments of past and present women in science to give students a glimpse into those who have profoundly impacted society.

Famous Women in Science

Download these nine posters to distribute to your students or hang them up in your classroom. The featured women in science, who come from a variety of scientific disciplines, include:


Dr. Sarah Ballard, Astronomer

She uses the transit-timing variation method to detect exoplanets or planets outside our solar system.


Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Physicist

She studies how particles move to different places and has researched tiny devices called semiconductors, which are used in electronics.


Olivia Lum, Research Chemist

She started a company that develops solutions to supply clean drinking water in countries worldwide.


Dr. Rosaly M. C. Lopes, Volcanologist

She studies volcanoes on Earth as well as on Io, a moon of Jupiter, and Titan, a moon of Saturn.


Dr. Ayanna Howard, Robot Engineer

She has contributed greatly to the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, and computer vision.


Dr. Meghan Leftwich, Mechanical Engineer

She investigates natural fluid dynamics phenomena and applies her findings to engineering problems.


Dr. Mayra Artiles, Car Engineer

She was a car engineer, primarily for hybrid vehicles, who then studied diversity in engineering as a PhD student.


Barbara Belmont, Analytical Chemist

She uses analytical methods such as gas chromatography to determine if manufactured products meet regulation standards.


Norma Alcantar, Plant Scientist

She uses her studies with prickly pear cacti to help clean dirty drinking water for people, plants, and animals.


Learn more about women in science who have made an impact in our Grades K–12 HMH science solutions.

This blog, originally published in 2019, has been updated for 2023.

HISTORY is a trademark of A&E Television Networks LLC. All rights reserved.

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