|Grades:||7 - 9|
6/1/06 VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
The slender books in this series examine the lives and research of contemporary female scientists. These women had diverse childhoods, and some had to overcome personal and societal prejudices about their career choices. All, however, have a fervent wish to better understand the world in which they live. Their stories are told through pictures and interviews with colleagues and family members. The existing ten titles in the series describe advancements in astronomy, climatology, robotics, and sociology, among other sciences.
Mimi Koehl grew up more interested in carpentry and geometry than in "girl Stuff." She wanted to know more about sea anemones, particularly how they survive the turbulent surf on rocky beaches. Her inquiries and experiments led to discoveries in a new field, biomechanics, in which scientists examine how form determines movement and function in the animal kingdom. A background in art has allowed her to create models fo various body shapes and appendages to test her theories. Once scoffed at, her research has gained worldwide notoriety. She still enjoys hypothesizing solutions to new puzzles and accepts the element of danger that comes with working in the wild.
Adriana Ocampo grew up in Argentina, fascinated by the stars and planets. When her father moved the family to the Untied States, she joined an explorers club at her high school, which in turn led to a field trip to NASA. Her enthusiasm for satellite design and interest in geology eventually led to a job. First helping to design a Mars rover, she then got involved in the search for a crater created by a massive asteroid collision that evidently caused mass extinctions in the age of dinosaurs. She now examines photos of distant planets taken by "fly-by" space probes and is always planning new geological expeditions.
This series should spark the curiosity of any reader, but given the recent suggestion from an academic that women do not posses the analytical faculty that men do, the series might encourage female readers to set their sights high.