Women in Science

Historically the role that women have played in scientific discoveries has often been undervalued and under appreciated. I recently developed three apps that celebrate the contributions of three women who deserve to be recognized and giants of science: Chein-Shiung Wu, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and Rosalind Franklin.

Chien-Shiung Wu was born near Shanghai, China. The new century had just begun, and in 1900, women did not have great educational opportunities, especially in science. Chien-Shiung Wu’s father was an educator and he founded a school. He believed that Chien-Shiung and her brothers should have the opportunity to get an education. She was the middle child. She did very well in school and her brilliance was recognized early in her academic career. Fortunately Wu was able to escape the social, political and economic upheavals that China experienced in the early 20th Century. She was able to travel to the United States and to enroll at the University of California at Berkeley in 1936. UC Berkeley was one of the top schools doing research in nuclear physics.

During the early part of theTwentieth Century, scientific disciplines were not readily open to women as a field of study. There were many challenges and roadblocks that made it overly difficult for women to get a science education. But eventually Chien-Shiung Wu became a full professor at Columbia University where she served as an inspiration to other students, especially women. In her lifetime, Chien-Shiung Wu made several important scientific breakthroughs. She also made many social breakthroughs for women.

Students will enjoy using this graphically illustrated, interactive learning tool. The timeline feature presents key events in the development of our modern understanding of the structure and composition of the atom. By tapping on timeline points brings up descriptions of historically significant events and the role the Chien-Shiung Wu played. A quiz function helps students demonstrate their comprehension of the reading material. Key science concepts are shown in colorful illustrations. We hope this app will inspire students to study science. The app shows that Chien-Shiung Wu certainly deserves the place she has earned in the history of science.

Another woman who deserves recognition is Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin.

Dorothy Crowfoot was born in Cairo, Egypt. Her father was a British archaeologist and her mother was a botanist who studied natural history. Dorothy developed a keen interest in science. Traveling to archaeological digs with her farther brought Dorothy to places where she was exposed to a great deal of Islam art. Her father worked primarily in North Africa and as archaeologist ancient art. Later at Oxford University she began to work with X-ray crystallography in studying sterols. The prestigious Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1964 for her use of X-ray crystallography to discover the structures of important biochemical substances, such as B12, insulin and penicillin.

In 1944 it was discovered that the DNA molecule found in the nucleus of cells is the mechanism for heredity. It is through DNA that organisms pass on certain biological traits to the next generations. Scientists needed to understand the structure of DNA in order to better explain how it functioned. Rosalind Franklin used x-ray crystallography to create a photograph that led to an understanding of the structure of DNA.

These apps are available with a volume discount for educational institutions. Each app can be purchased worldwide exclusively through the AppleApp Store.  Our apps are also available through Apple’s volume purchase program. Schools get a significant discount when purchasing multiple copies of any of these apps. Contact Apple Education for more information about the volume purchase program.  Please visit Ventura Educational Systems’ website for more information about this and other iOS and tvOS apps for education.


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