Women scientists and engineers have long played significant roles in shaping STEM disciplines and advancing technological innovation, yet many go unrecognized. (Case in point: How many women scientists can you name right now?) Maia Weinstock a professor at the prestigious MIT University, is committed to changing this. Maria builds content for our Space Camp module.
The Space Camp module was orginally constructed by one of our DORS students. She connected several of our astronomy architecture and engineering activities to create a unit that was not focused on landing on the moon, but living and building in space. In the summer of 2017, we taught the module for the first time to middle school girls and boys in Oakland. To this day, it’s a student favorite.
Maria Weinstock has contributed work from her WGS.S10 History of Women in Science and Engineering, a course for MIT undergraduates that spotlighted the contributions of women in STEM and created space for uncovering how biases in academia and popular culture impact scientific achievements.
Currently,Professor Weinstock is rocking the world of LEGO® minifigures with her depictions of scientists like chemical engineer Paula Hammond (above), and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa.
(Breaking news: Weinstein’s Women of NASA Lego® Prototype has just been added to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!).
This year, DORS students will find out what inspired her to teach is an interest in relating the history of women in the STEM fields? The most well-known of these is a series of LEGO® minifigures she’s been crafting and photographing featuring scientists and engineers.
“I wanted to teach the course as a way to impart the considerable knowledge I’ve amassed about this area over the years, “ Says Weinstock. “ I wanted to give students a sense of MIT’s own history in relation to the women who have come through and made their mark.”