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Women's History
Women in Science



Women in Science
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.02

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    prestigious, beginning, analysis, honorary, astronomy, calculator, photography, mathematics, sanitation, instrumental, civilian, high-ranking, acceptance, prank, pursue, missile
     content words:    Elizabeth Blackwell, United States, Geneva Medical School, Annie Jump Cannon, Wellesley College, Sarah Whiting, Harvard Observatory, Grace Hopper, When World War II, Naval Reserves


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Women in Science
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     Since the beginning of time, science has been a part of our world. Over the years, scientists have made some great discoveries. All along the way, women have been involved. Sometimes, they were accepted as a part of the scientific world. Other times, they had to fight for acceptance. Whatever the case, women have made great contributions to the world of science.
 
2     Elizabeth Blackwell was born in England in 1821. Her father moved the family to the United States in 1831. After her father's death, her mother opened a private school where Elizabeth was a teacher. Over time, Elizabeth became interested in pursuing a degree in medicine. She applied to a number of high-ranking schools. Each application was denied. After applying to smaller schools, she finally received an acceptance from Geneva Medical School. However, it was only meant as a joke. The student body had been asked to vote on her application. They thought it was a prank and voted to admit her. Elizabeth faced great opposition, but she persevered. In 1849, she graduated at the top of her class. She was the first woman to receive an M.D.
 
3     Annie Jump Cannon gained her interest in astronomy from her mother, who taught her the names of the constellations. Throughout her school years, Annie was a promising student. She attended Wellesley College and earned a degree in physics. However, job opportunities for women in the field of science were limited. Annie eventually took a job as an assistant to her former professor, Sarah Whiting. Back at Wellesley, she began to take graduate courses in astronomy. She also developed her skills in photography. In 1907, she received a Master of Arts degree in astronomy and went to work at the Harvard Observatory. This became her life work. Annie developed a system of categorizing stars by their temperatures. This system became the standard way of classifying stars. She also worked to photograph many of the stars. Today, an annual award named after her is given to a woman in the field of astronomy.

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Women's History
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United States
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