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As of five years ago, 50 percent of the overall workforce was female, but only 25 percent of the STEM workforce was occupied by women. But that’s about to change! Girls are closing the gender gap in STEM and they’re starting now. Get inspired by these kids who took action at a young age:

  • Greta Thunberg’s environmental activism and studies in climate change earned her two consecutive Nobel Peace Prize nominations, and at 16 years old, she was the youngest person ever to be named Time’s Person of the Year.
  • Seventh-grader Elan Filler was in search of a science fair project, so she took it upon herself to identify and locate a dangerous fungus that was making people sick. Her study attracted the attention of Duke University, and her work brought to light a public health risk (and she won the science fair).
  • One day, 10-year-old astronomer Kathryn Gray noticed a change in some of her pictures of the night sky. She told her dad and became the youngest person ever to discover a supernova.
  • In 2010, high school sophomore Shay Bloxton was participating in a class program with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory when she discovered a new pulsar.
  • Eleven-year-old Kylie Simonds didn’t let a cancer diagnosis stop her. In 2013, she invented a wearable IV machine for kids going through chemotherapy.
  • Cynthia Sin Nga Lam invented a water purifier and power generator when she was 17 years old, possibly solving the problem of how to supply water and energy to remote regions of the world.
  • Even though being a girl meant she was not allowed to participate in the 19th-century scientific community, 12-year-old Mary Anning was an avid fossil hunter, and with her brother she discovered the ichthyosaur skeleton near her home in England.

For more stories about brilliant women who succeeded in STEM, check out our collection of picture books, then dive into a discovery of your own!