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.