Women in Science: Graphics that Teach

janegoodallposterHow would you represent a great person’s life work in a single symbol? What single image could represent the contributions of Martin Luther King? Abraham Lincoln? Srinivasa Ramanujan?

The artist using the pseudonym Hydrogene tackles that question, while also creating art work focusing on STEM education and technology across cultures. The most recent additions to the collection are images representing Women in Science.

I love the images, but more than that, I love the ways they can be used. If students are not familiar with the work of Ada Lovelace, Barbara McClintock or Lise Meitner, these posters can spur them to learn. It is vital that young scientists, particularly young women, have role models across science and technology domains, if they are to develop scientific curiosity.

But what of other people, places, and times? These wonderful graphics can also be taught the power of synthesizing a key idea into a single image. Imagine asking students to create (and, of course, explain) a key image to represent a literary character, historic figure, or event. What image best represents Lady McBeth? Benedict Arnold? D-Day? Being forced to think about the many aspects of a person or event to determine what is most critical is a fine exercise in both critical and creative thinking. Give it a try. I’d love to see the results.


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