Lawlor, Laurie. Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World. Holiday, 2017. 48 p. Holiday, 2017. hardcover, $16.95. (9780823436750). 509.2/52.

Educator's Guide
for Super Women
from Holiday House.

    Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World

    From the publisher: "Profiles of six amazing women who defied prejudice to succeed in the sciences using genius, ambition, and perseverance! Laurie Lawlor deftly paints portraits of each of these pioneers who refused to take no for an answer, pursuing their passions through fieldwork, observations, laboratories and research vessels in the face of sexism. Lawlor tells the stories of Eugenie Clark, an ichthyologist who swam with sharks; Marie Tharp, a cartographer who mapped the ocean floor; Katherine Coleman Johnson, a mathematician who calculated trajectories for NASA flights; Florence Hawley Ellis, an anthropologist of Pueblo cultures who pioneered tree-ring dating; Gertrude Elion, a pharmacologist who developed treatments for leukemia and AIDS; and Margaret Burbidge, an astrophysicist who formulated a theory of quasar."

    Information about:

    Eugenie Clark (ichthyologist) -- (04 May 1922 - 25 February 2015) "The Shark Lady"

    Marie Tharp (cartographer)-- (30 July 30 - 23 August 2006) - known for creating the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor.

    Katherine Coleman Johnson (mathematician) -- (26 August 1918 - )

    Florence Hawley Ellis (anthropologist) -- (17 September 1906-6 April 1991) - pioneered method of dating using tree rings, and contributed much to the body of information regarding Pueblo land claims.

    Gertrude Elion (pharmacologist) -- (23 January 1918 - 21 February 1999 ) - helped develop drugs to treat diseases such as malaria and AIDS

    Margaret Burbidge née Eleanor Margaret Peachey (astrophysicist) - (12 August 1919 - ) Interview British-born astrophysicist with many scientific accomplishments, now an emeritus professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Women Scientists in History

  • Celebrate Ada Lovelace day (October 15) by learning about the many other women - those super women and others..
    • And for those who want to share information about Ada Lovelace don't miss these two picture book biographies:
      • Stanley, Diane. Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, 2016.
      • Robinson, Fiona. Ada's Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World's First Computer Programmer. Harry N. Abrams, 2016.
  • In addition to Katherine Johnson there are many other women -- "From Hidden to Modern Figures" that worked with NASA. Read about them. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2017) From Hidden to Modern Figures. Retrieved from
  • Readers who would like to know more about Katherine Johnson might wish to read Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016.
  • Marie Tharp's discoveries, specifically the calculations revealing the deep valley in the middle of the ocean ridge which was evidence of the oceanic crust spreading apart contributed previously unknown information about the ocean floor. However for years her colleague, Bruce Heezen was credited with the work. he even published the work and took credit for the discoveries (1956). Tharp was not included in the credit. This is not unlike many other discoveries found by women. Explore other inventions/ discoveries that were initially credited to males in their lives of which have been hidden in history.
    • Murphy, Tim and Raja, Tasneem. (15 October 2013) Ladies Last: 8 Inventions by Women That Dudes Got Credit For. Mother Jones. Retrieved from
      Includes information about: Rosalind Franklin (DNA double Helix), Ada Lovelace (computer programing), Margaret Knight (paper bag machine), Elizabeth Magie (Monopoly), Judy Malloy (Hypertext fiction - Michael Joyce usually gets credit but his came well after Malloy's), Lise Meitner (nuclear fission and honored with an element—meitnerium, or Mt on the Periodic Table ), Candace Pert (opioid receptor - but her advisor Solomon Snyder took credit and won awards), and Martha Coston (signal flares - but the Navy gave her 10 year dead husband credit as they would not acknowledge that a woman could invent such an item).
    • Gage, Matilda Joslyn. (May 1883). Woman as an Inventor. The North American Review. Published by University of Northern Iowa. Retrieved from JSTOR at
    • Samakow, Jessica (01 March 2016) 11 Crucial Inventions You can Thank Women for. Huffington Post. Retrieved from
    • Investigate other inventions/discoveries by women: Tabith Babbitt (Circular saw - 1812), Josephine Cochran (dish washer - 1872), Anna Connelly (fire escapes - 1887), Letitia Geer (Medical syringes - 1899), El Dorado Jones (Engine Muffler - 1917), Mary Anderson (windshielf wiper - 1903), Ruth Wakefield (chocolate chip cookies - 1930), Dr. Maria Telkes (solar heated homes - 1940s), Madame Bessani (Venetian Point lace - 1800s), Barbara Uttmann (pillow-lace making - 1800s), Mheural Nisa (Cashmere shawls and Attar or Atyr of Roses perfume; her husband, the conqueror Jerunzebe, built the Taj Mahal in her honor, Cunio children [twin brother and sister] - wood engraving), Betsy Metcalf (made the first straw bonnet - 1798), Catharine Littlefield Green (cotton-gin - generally credited to Eli Whiney who was the widow Greene's boarder; at the time a female inventor would not have been accepted but subject to ridiculte), Louise McLaughlin (underglaze painting on pottery), Ann Harned Manning (mower and reaper - 1817-1818), and Harriet Hosmer (produce marble from limestone and the permanent magnet - 1881).
    • Murphy, Jessica. (10 Mar 2015) 5 Female Inventors Who Changed Life As We Know It. Bio. Retrieved from Includes profiles of Margaret Knight (paper bag), Melitta Bentz (coffee beans-modern brewing with a coffee filter system - 1908), Caresse Crosby née Mary Phelps Jacob (brassiére - 1914), Katharine Burr Blodgett (gas masks, smoke screens, technique for de-icing airplane wings, "invisible" glass [glass that eliminated glare and distortion. It revolutionized cameras, microscopes, eyeglasses, and more]- 1900s), Stephanie Kwoleck (Developed Dupont's new fiber Kevlar - a steel-like fiber used in radial tires, crash helmets, and bulletproof vests  - 1960s).
    • Vasundara R. (05 May 2015) 10 Cool Things Men Would Never Believe Were Invented by Woman. Retrieved from Includes information about Florence Parpart (modern electric refrigerator and a street cleaning machine - 1914), Maria Beasely (life rafts - 1882), Nancy Johnson (ice cream freezer - 1843), Dr. Shirley Jackson (portable fax machine, touch tone phone, solar cells, fiber optic cables, technology behind caller ID and call waiting), and Hedy Lamarr (frequency hopping technology enabling encryption and laid the foundation for wi-fi and gps), Stephanie Kwolek, Katharine Blodgett, Grace Hopper (computer, first programming language [COBOL]). Mary Anderson (windshield wipers-1903)
    • Vazquez, Laurie-Anne. (10 March 2015) 8 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented by Women. Retrieved from
    • Shetterly, Margot Lee. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. William Morrow, 2016.
    • A book about females who were "almost astronauts)
      Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Candlewick, 2009.

    Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World (2017) Illustrated with black and white photographs and pictures. Holiday House. ISBN-10: 0823436756.ISBN-13: 978-0823436750. Collective Biography.

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