comScore 8 Young Girl Inventors | The Mary Sue
The Mary Sue

8 Real Life Girl Geniuses You Ought to Know

No, not Ami Mizuno!

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Here’s a type of news story you see popping up a few times a year (especially during a slow cycle): a “twelve-year-old schoolgirl” has invented this, or a “group of African schoolchildren” have invented that. Sometimes these blurbs are missing names, and often they omit the kids’ countries of origin as well, as if Africa were the same monolithic blob from Cairo to Cape Town. And when news like this crops up, we browse articles on HuffPo, we glance at a few headlines on CNN, and – after a short period of whizbang-wow amazement – we quickly forget what we’ve seen.

But that’s not fair. It’s not fair to the kids who have achieved so much, and it’s not fair to the rest of their generation, who have had to memorize the names of Mendels and Keplers and Darwins and Maxwells as if they’re the beginning and the end of the story; as if everything worth discovering or inventing had been covered by the end of the nineteenth century, so the rest of you can go home now, thanks very much. As if the only things accomplished in a STEM field were done in a high-tech laboratory by a team of scientists in sterile white lab coats.

Well, that’s not remotely true. It’s time to call these girls by name, and give them the respect they deserve. Write these down, tell your friends about them, and – better yet – tell the kids in your life about them, too. Give them someone (several someones!) to look up to, and give their science teachers a break from having to explain why learning chemistry, biology, and physics might be a handy thing to do.


(top image via Bill Ward on Flickr)

Aimee Ogden is a writer living in Wisconsin with her soon-to-be-year-old twins, dog, and very patient husband. She loves pancakes like Leslie Knope loves waffles. You can also find her on Twitter or at her blog, Fake Geek Mom.

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