May 31, 2017

Women on Wed: Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World by Rachel Swaby

A few Wednesdays a month I like to feature books that show the strength and diversity of women.  These may be works of fiction or nonfiction.

Today that book is:

Virginia Apgar. Sally Ride. Rachel Carson. These names are etched in history and included here as part of this awe-inspiring collection of profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science. Author Rachel Swaby delves into the minds of thirty-three such women, whose vision, creativity, passion and dedication have helped make important strides in the world of science—who have in fact changed the world.

Middle grade kids will be fascinated by these snapshot profiles of some of history’s most important female scientists. These women have made strides in fields including biology, medicine, astronomy, and technology. In addition, Swaby emphasizes the fact that people aren’t born brilliant scientists. They observe and experiment as kids and as adults, testing ideas again and again, each time learning something new. Kids are sure to come away with a renewed curiosity of the world and the realization that the road to discovery can be positively thrilling.

Just recently I had my 3rd graders do a research project on inventors.  I really struggled finding women for them to research.  It bothered me!  I wish I had looked at this book sooner because there were several I could've added to the list for sure! While reading it I learned about several women I didn't know about.  The two that interested me most were Helen Taussig and Jane Wright.  Taussig worked with cardiac research and Wright with cancer research.  These are two areas I've had personal experience with, so it was fascinating to here the contributions they made!  I also liked how the book was broken into different sections - Technology and Invention, The Earth and Stars, Health and Medicine, and Biology.  It allowed me to turn to areas I was interested in.  

Great book that I plan to share with students! 


  1. It is great to know that you introduced some wonderful and talented women from the history to 3rd graders. If they get to know some brilliant personalities since little age, they will be motivated.

  2. Good post, I always look for good books to read, this one certainly looks good to me, thank you for sharing it with us and keep posting more such posts