Inspiring People – Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Sitting in Airplane for Featured Photo

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Did you get a chance to talk to your teen yet? Try asking them what their favorite color is. You may just start a conversation.

I asked my two young adults what their favorite colors are. One said red and the other said red or black. Red and black were the school colors from the high school they attended. So it makes sense. When we picked out their first cell phones, one was red and one was black. And each kid got their favorite color.

National Women’s History Month

Women's History Month Logo

I’ve been focusing the posts this month on women who have done inspiring things or made contributions to our country’s history. Since there are five Mondays in March, I chose to write about another inspiring woman as a final post for National Women’s History Month, and that woman is Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart, a fellow woman pilot

How many of you know that I’m a pilot? I soloed an airplane, became a private pilot and started an instrument rating. That’s where my training stopped. I came to a point in my life where I needed to focus my money on things other than flying. It wasn’t an easy decision, but since I’d still be a pilot after attaining the certificate, I knew I’d be able to complete training to become current and start flying again, when the time is right.

Amelia Earhart did a lot more flying than I have done. According to AmeliaEarhart.com, when she was ten she saw her first airplane at the state fair and didn’t think much of it. “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting.” She didn’t become interested in avaition until almost a decade later when a little red airplane swooped down towards her and a friend.

Growing up as a tomboy, she wasn’t afraid to take on things that were seen as not being feminine. She kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in male-oreinted fields for inspiration. During my research, I learned she did a lot more than just fly an airplane.

She did other things before her first flight

Did you know that Amelia Earhart…

  • After graduating from Hyde Park High School, she attended a girl’s finishing school. She left in the middle of her second year.
  • She went to work as a nurse’s aide in a military hospital in Canada during World War I.
  • Then attended college and became a social worker at Denison House, a settlement house in Boston.

all before doing her first flight on January 3, 1921.

Denison House contributions

According to Wikpedia.com, Amelia Earhart was hired as a social worker at the Denison House in 1926 and became a full time staff member in 1927. While she was working there as a teacher and home visitor, she was in charge of adult education and supervised a girls program. She was also taking flying lessons to pursue the interest which was sparked in her.

After six months of working, she was able to save up enough money to buy her own airplane, a Kinner Airster.

Photo By John W. Underwood

Here’s what sciencephoto.com had to say about the airplane,

It was very much an experimental proposition. The engine was a Kinner-copy of the Wright Gale, forerunner of the Whirlwind, but it was anything but a success. It threw more oil than it consumed and vibrated excessively. The experience gained from Earhart’s flying helped Kinner build a better engine and by 1930 he was a leader in the field.

Flying takes over

After building flight experience on the weekends, Ameila Earhart received a phone call at work in April of 1928. She originally responded that she was too busy to answer, but finally decided to take a call that would change the course her life was on.

“How would you like to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic?”

Of course she said yes and it led to a flight in a Fokker F7 called Friendship. The flight made headlines world wide, and led to many more flights, during a time when flying was building momentum, especially for women pilots. One of her most famous flights, the one to circumnavigate the world, she never came home from. She disappeared in July of 1937 and what happened to her is still a mystery to be solved.

An interesting story

Every person has a life journey. I’m interested in how people navigate the challenges in their lives to do great things. Amelia Earhart did some amazing things as a woman pilot, but she did other things which made her more than just a pilot. That’s the part of her story I didn’t know before I took a look. Be open to learning about other people. We all have interesting things and experiences to share with each other. If you are interested about learning more about Amelia Earhart, check out her website AmeliaEarhart.com.

My first book – The Hard Way

Cover design of my first book

When Paul Jones meets Anik Hatcher and is introduced to his gang, Paul becomes a key player in their most harmful “prank” yet. He learns how the decisions he makes, good or bad, can quickly affect his whole life. Find out more by picking up your own copy of this teen/young adult read. The Hard Way

If you want to check out the first chapter to see how you like it, sign up for my email list and you’ll have the first chapter delivered to your email.

Have a great week!

STEM Women Pioneers

Good morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week? Did you touch base with that teen in your life? We are back to having both of our young adults in the house again. It feels good having all of us together.

National Women’s History Month

Women's History Month Logo

I’ll be focusing the posts this month on women who have done inspiring things or made contributions to our country’s history. The two women I’ll be talking about today meet both of these criteria.

Their contributions utilize the elements found in STEM, an acronym introduced in 2001 by scientific administrators at the National Space Foundation (NSF)

STEM Defined

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Using the term STEM is a way to bring all of these disciplines together. Many people struggle with the classes that are found in the STEM family. However, they are found in many things in our day to day lives. Science develops vaccines and new foods. Technology creates new iPhones and tablets every year. Engineering helps to build things like buildings and bridges. Finally, Math calculates the statistics you see on the news and determines how much fuel to put on the airplane which takes you on your family vacation.

Women Pioneers using STEM

To celebrate National Women’s History Month, I want to talk about two ladies who made contributions to our country’s history through the use of elements found in STEM. One is Emily Warren Roebling who contributued to the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world in the late 1800s. It was also the first one to be built with steel cables. The other is Admiral Grace Hopper who was a founding mother in the area of computer science.

Emily Warren Roebling (1843-1903)

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, (ASCE.org) despite advice she received in her early years about what higher education women did or didn’t need, she studied math and science at a convent school in Washington D.C. Emily Warren Roebling was the wife of Washington Roebling who was a civil engineer and the chief engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

During the construction of the bridge, Washington developed caisson disease (decompression sickness). Fearing the project wouldn’t be completed without her husband’s contributions, Emily began taking notes from her husband on what needed to be done. She took that information to the crew, but she also began to study the technical issues involved in building the bridge. Things about the strength of the materials they used, stress analysis of those materials and the calculations that determined the catenary curves used in the building process. An important part of a bridge built with cables. According to Google:

A catenary is a curve that an idealized hanging chain or cable assumes its own weight when supported only at its ends.

With all of the knowledge she obtained, Roebling became a good stand in for her husband. So good in fact that many believed that she was the intelligence behind the building of the bridge.

Abram Hewitt, a competitor in the steel business said of the Brooklyn Bridge and Roebling,

“An everlasting ,monument to the self-sacrificing devotion of a woman of her capacity for that higher education from which she has been too long disbarred.”

Her contributions in the areas of STEM live on in the Brooklyn Bridge.

Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992)

Admiral Grace Hopper was an American computer scienctist and an United States Navy rear admiral.

According to GraceHopper.com, she enjoyed breaking things as a kid, to only put them back together. This was done in an effort to learn how they worked. She earned bachelor and masters degrees in math at Yale University and added a PhD to it. She also double majored in physics. Covering two of the four STEM areas.

She attempted to enlist in the Navy during World War II, but she was deemed too old (34 at the time) so she joined the reserves instead. She started her computer career in 1944 when she worked on the Harvard Mark I project. The Harvard Mark was the first automatic calculator.

Do you know where the term “bug” in the system came from? It was coined by Hopper when a moth infiltrated the circuits of the Harvard Mark I.

In 1949 she went to work for the Eckert-Maulchly Computer Corporation where she worked on the UNIVAC I and developed the linker, which converted English terms into computer language. Most believed that computers could only do arithmetic, well Hopper proved them wrong. Just look at what they can do today.

According to Hopper, the most damaging phrase in language is

“We’ve always done it that way.”

Her contributions in the areas of STEM live on in the computers we use today.

Women Pioneers Make a Difference

If we and the pioneers before us didn’t challenge that phrase, many of the inventions and ideas we have today wouldn’t have never come to fruition.

Women like Emily Warren Roebling and Admiral Grace Hopper show us that people can make things happen. With their skills in STEM, one went on to help build the Brooklyn Bridge, which still stands today in New York City. And the other laid some of the foundation into the technology we use everyday in computers and cell phones.

Want to learn more information about either of these ladies? Follow the links provided in their profiles above.

The Hard Way

Cover design of my first book

Are you looking for a good teen read for yourself or that special teen in your life? Take a look at The Hard Way. It is the first book in The Way Series. It can be found on the books tab of the website.

The Hard Way

Have a good week!