Women's History Month: Celebrating Women
Women’s History Month grew out of a week-long celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools; hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest; and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa.
A few years later, the idea had caught on within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. The National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March, and the United States has observed it annually throughout the month of March since 1987.
This year’s theme, Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, promotes President Obama’s goal of raising the number and performance of students currently excelling in STEM subjects and also engaging girls and other students who are historically underrepresented in these areas.
Jump-starting girls’ interest in STEM subjects, boosting the percentage of scientists and engineers who are women— which rested at a mere 24% in 2009—and giving greater prominence to strong role models (see Honor Roll of Notable Women in STEM) is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.
To help you incorporate Women's History Month into your lessons and activities, OEA offers the following resources.
Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame
The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to create a public recognition of the many outstanding contributions Ohio women have made to their state and nation. Members of The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame come from all walks of life, but each has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to excellence, achievement, and service to others. They are an ongoing source of pride and inspiration for all Ohioans—especially our state’s next generation of leaders.
Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ON THE AIR!
Listen to stories about fascinating women working and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; and learn about programs and practices throughout the U.S. designed to broaden the participation of women in STEM.
Women’s History Month
Put the power of primary sources to work in the classroom. Browse ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids. The Women’s History Month resource page for teachers includes a vast collection of information and classroom ideas from the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art and National Park Service.
The National Women’s History’s Project
The National Women’s History Project, founded in 1980, is an educational nonprofit organization. Their mission is to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs. Click on the Resource Center link for a variety of quizzes on topics such as “Women in Math and Science,” “Test Your Women’s I.Q.” and “African-American Women’s History 40-Question Challenge.”
Women’s History Month for the Classroom
In the United States, March is Women's History Month and the celebration of the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. See NEA’s teaching resources and honor their contributions to all aspects of life in the following lessons and activities.
Notable Women in STEM
Click on the images above to learn more about each inspiring role-model in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Virginia Apgar, Marie Curie, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Jane Goodall, Ellen Ochoa, Elizabeth Blackwell, Chien Shiung Wu, Bessie Coleman, Anne Dodge Wauneka.