In time for Women’s Month and on the heels of the release of the Pharrell-produced movie, Hidden Figures, LEGO announced that there will be a LEGO set in honor of women that have played critical roles in the U.S Space Program aka NASA. In many cases, women’s work have gone unacknowledged and under-appreciated—especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The LEGO set celebrates and features five notable NASA pioneers, and provides educational background for kids and their parents to learn about them as they build. These women include Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Nancy Grace Roman and Mae Jemison. Click the jump to find out how they contributed to making waves in NASA and images of the LEGO set.
Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist: While working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. She is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.
Katherine Johnson, mathematician and space scientist: A longtime NASA researcher, Johnson is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon.
Sally Ride, astronaut, physicist, and educator: A physicist by training, Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences.
Nancy Grace Roman, astronomer: One of the first female executives at NASA, Roman is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA’s astronomy research program.
Mae Jemison, astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur: Trained as a medical doctor, Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.