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Changing the World Through Science

March 6, 2018
By Robert and Libby Strong and Richard Pollack - SMART Science , OVParent

Do you think that one person can help change the world? You can join many other females throughout history to make a great contribution to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Women have made many scientific discoveries over time. One of these scientists was Rachel Carson, best known for her book, "Silent Spring." Rachel Carson was born in 1907 in Pennsylvania. Rachel and her mother would often investigate the outdoors together. They observed spiders, insects and other creatures in nature. She also observed fossils. It is not surprising that Rachel went on to study biology (the study of living things), although she was originally studying English.

An excellent writer, she wrote for the college newspaper. She earned an advanced degree in zoology (study of animals). She was the first woman hired at a government wildlife agency. She often wrote about the sea for radio shows. Rachel combined her talent for writing and science. Her love of the sea was great, and through her research and experience wrote the book, "The Sea Around Us."

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After the great success of her book, Rachel moved closer to the sea. In 1957 a friend wrote her to say that after pesticide was sprayed in the neighborhood, many robins died. Rachel began to investigate this and found that the chemicals in some of these pesticides were affecting not only the insects that they were supposed to kill but other wildlife and possibly humans. She discovered that pesticides can negatively affect the environment. Rachel's book, "Silent Spring," was published in 1962. Her book changed the way we look at human impact on the environment. Her book and its information are credited for influencing the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and even the observance of Earth Day.

This spring, listen to the sounds of the frogs and the other spring creatures and be grateful to Rachel Carson for alerting us about the human impact on the environment.

March is Women's History Month. There are many books to learn more about other female scientists, inventors, engineers and mathematicians. Think about all of the contributions of women to the STEM fields. They are amazing accomplishments!

You can accomplish great things, too! If you want to learn more with other girls who love science and math, the Girls Enjoying Math and Science Camp will be held June 25 and 26 at SMART Centre Market. It is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, Women's Giving Circle. Girls entering grades 5-8 may attend. For an application, visit www.smartcenter. org.



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