The Trailblazing Scientific Career Of Maria Zuber

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The Trailblazing Scientific Career Of Maria Zuber

"In planetary science, you can ask really big questions," said Maria Zuber, Vice President of Research at MIT, in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine. Maria has been tackling big questions her entire career. She was the first woman to run a NASA spacecraft mission, the first woman to lead a science department at MIT, and one of the first two women to receive NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal. Her passion is planetary science, which includes the study of planets, moons, and planetary systems.

Marie Curie Couldn't Legally Attend College, So She Did It Illegally

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Marie Curie Couldn't Legally Attend College, So She Did It Illegally

Marie Curie is the trailblazing scientist known for receiving two Nobel Prizes, one in physics and another in chemistry, among her many other contributions to science. But her achievements were quite close to never happening at all. During Marie Curie's time in Poland in the 1800s, higher education for women was illegal. The country, then controlled by Russian, Prussian, and Austrian powers, strictly limited what could be taught, and banned women from attending college altogether. But that didn't stop Curie. She attended what was known as the Flying University, a secret organization that began in 1882 in Warsaw, Poland. Polish professors, philosophers, and historians led seminars and lectures for students who were shunned by the current government-controlled education system of the time. To avoid detection from officials, since this type of schooling was illegal, the Flying University sessions jumped from private home to private home. By the 1890s, the school had nearly one thousand students from both sexes. Get a quick recap of Curie's education and career in the video below.

"Her Deepness" Sylvia Earle Is An Accomplished Oceanographer, Author, And Educator

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"Her Deepness" Sylvia Earle Is An Accomplished Oceanographer, Author, And Educator

If the ocean could have human royalty, "Her Deepness" Dr. Sylvia A. Earle would be the one to reign it all. Oceanographer, author, educator, and explorer, Earle has been admired by individuals and organizations around the world. She's been called a "living legend" by the Library of Congress, and first "hero for the planet" by Time magazine. Earle is a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and has been chief scientist of NOAA. She also holds a world record for solo diving in 1,000-meter depth. But her accomplishments do not end there.Dr. Earle has founded many organizations to support marine life and exploration, including the Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., and Mission Blue. In addition, Earle is the chair of the Advisory Council for the Ocean in Google Earth. Her research revolves around marine ecosystems, with special consideration for exploration, conservation, and the development of technologies for use in the deep sea.

Madam C. J. Walker, America's First Female Self-Made Millionaire

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Madam C. J. Walker, America's First Female Self-Made Millionaire

Sarah Breedlove was born in 1867 to two sharecroppers, on the same Louisiana plantation where they had been enslaved since before the Civil War. By age seven, Breedlove was an orphan. However, this young girl would grow up to become Madam C. J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. Not only did Walker start her empire after a childhood rife with loss, discrimination, and abuse, she did it all as a single mother. In the 1890s, Walker began to experience hair loss and looked hard for a solution. She experimented with home remedies and store-bought products, and consulted her brothers who worked in a barber shop. She eventually developed Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula that she began peddling around the country. From there, her business continued to grow, as the word of Walker's product spread among African-American woman. "There is no royal flower-strewn path to success," Walker reportedly once said. "And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard." Learn more about this inspiring woman and others in the videos below.

Gert Boyle Went From Homemaker To Columbia President Overnight

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Gert Boyle Went From Homemaker To Columbia President Overnight

Not many people would believe that a housewife with zero business training could end up at the helm of a $2 billion company. But through a series of unfortunate events, that's exactly where Gert Boyle landed. After her family fled Nazi Germany when she was just 13, Boyle's father founded the Columbia Hat Company. When he passed away, Boyle's husband Neal took over. That was September of 1970. In December, Neal suddenly died, leaving Gert with two unappealing options: let Columbia fail and lose her mother's home to the bank, or take over the struggling company and learn on the job. "There weren't any women running companies out there," Boyle told Ad Age. "But it's actually not very different from running a family." After turning down a paltry offer to sell the company in 1971, Boyle and her son Tim got to work experimenting with new fabrics and designs, including the now legendary Bugaboo jacket. In 1984, they began the innovative Tough Mother ad campaign, depicting Gert putting Tim through harrowing situations to test out Columbia products, and sales quickly skyrocketed. Tim took over as CEO in 1989, the company went public in 1998, and Columbia now makes more than $2 billion in revenue. Gert now serves as company chairman, and she's still just as tough: at age 86, she famously escaped a home invasion and kidnapping by setting off a silent alarm while tied up by burglars. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

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Key Facts to Know

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    When Gert's father passed away, her husband Neal took over the business. When he died suddenly, Gert volunteered to take over. 0:39

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    Within a year, Columbia was essentially bankrupt. 1:06

  • 3

    They refocused and differentiated themselves with the Bugaboo coat and the Tough Mother ad campaign. 1:43