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Women of NASA LEGOs Inspirational Toy Set

Updated on November 9, 2017
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I've always loved the constructive qualities of LEGOs. They are great for learning basic mechanical functions, among other things.

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LEGOs Celebrates the Women of NASA

When LEGO announced that they would celebrate the achievements and heroics of women working for NASA, (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) I was elated. Finally, kids everywhere will have a constructive toy that shows the brave contributions of women and space. Each little figurine comes with a backdrop related to their work at NASA, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the space shuttle Challenger.

It all happened after a woman named Maia Weinstock, deputy editor for MIT News, had submitted her idea for LEGO's Ideas Community, in which members can create and vote on a new toy set plan.

Weinstock's submission received more than 10K votes, which triggered an automatic review by the LEGO staff. It did not take long for LEGO to decide to approve and sell it.

The set went on sale on November 1st, 2017, only a few months after it was submitted by Weinstock.

Who Are These Inspiring Women?

Sally Ride

Sally Ride made history in 1983 when she became the first woman to travel into outer space.

She joined NASA in 1978 and had become the first American woman in space, in 1983. She flew twice on the space shuttle Challenger before continuing on to work at Stanford University, and then went on to become a professor of physics. She also co-wrote children's books with the goal of encouraging children to study science.

Sally Ride
Sally Ride | Source

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton is a brilliant American computer scientist and systems engineer. At the time of the Apollo space program during the 1960's, she was the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. She started her career in mathematics and then went on to become a programmer. At that time computer programmers learned on the job, since there was not a software engineering discipline yet. She was at the cutting edge of space and aeronautical software engineering. Hamilton cites a female math professor as her own inspirational figure, which lead to her pursuit of abstract mathematics.

Hamilton in 1969, standing next to a stack of navigation software that she and her MIT team produced for the Apollo project.
Hamilton in 1969, standing next to a stack of navigation software that she and her MIT team produced for the Apollo project. | Source

Nancy Grace Roman

Nancy Roman is an American astronomer and one of the first female executives at NASA. She is considered to be the "Mother of Hubble", the famous Hubble Space Telescope. She has been an important advocate for women in sciences. She was 11 when she showed a strong interest in astronomy. She went on to start an astronomy club with her classmates and studied via an accelerated program, having graduated in three years. It was often her classmates who discouraged her from pursuing her interest in astronomy. Thankfully, she did not listen to them.

She was the first Chief of Astronomy at NASA. She was instrumental in developing and budgeting for the program that would become the Hubble Space Telescope. Her tenacity lead to the first space telescope, which has allowed us Earthlings to view astronomical objects and events that we would otherwise not know.

Nancy Roman with a model of a space telescope.
Nancy Roman with a model of a space telescope. | Source

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison is a physician, engineer, NASA astronaut, and college professor. She is also the first African American woman to travel in space. After completing medical school she joined the Peace Corps, prior to joining NASA. Her achievements continue to this day, as she as holds nine honorary doctorates in science, letters, and the humanitites. She is currently a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. She sets her mind to something and achieves it. Jemison is a true inspiration to young women everywhere.

Mae Jemison on board the Spacelab Japan science module, on the Earth-orbiting Endeavor space shuttle.
Mae Jemison on board the Spacelab Japan science module, on the Earth-orbiting Endeavor space shuttle. | Source

Katherine Coleman Johnson

Katherine Johnson is an African-American mathematician who contributed to NASA with the early application of electronic computers. She was known for being exceptional at celestial navigation, having calculated trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths. She managed to do this over the course of decades, being an important part of Project Mercury, Apollo 11 to the Moon, and through to the space shuttle. Johnson worked as a human "computer", having made complex math calculations for a large variety of systems and projects.

She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.


Katherine Johnson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
Katherine Johnson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. | Source

© 2017 And Drewson

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