‘Science Wide Open’ Book Series Teaches Girls About Science & Inspires Them With Role Models


Let’s face it – when asked for a list of female scientists, most people would start and end with just one name: Marie Curie. History, however, is filled with women who made astounding scientific discoveries, and made them in a world that often diminished or even stole those discoveries. It’s time to transform this narrative.

That is exactly what a new children’s book series is aiming to do. ‘Science Wide Open’ is a celebration of women in science that shares inspirational true stories and teaches basics of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. The team behind the books launched a Kickstarter campaign on October 4 looking for $6000 in total. At the time of writing this article, the campaign has already raised over $44,000!

That incredible success tells us one thing: society is desperate for books like this where parents can inspire their children, especially girls, with stories of women who are famous for achievements, rather than their looks.

We have previously written about similar campaigns and books such as Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Stem Gems, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World, and Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine just to name a few.


These are all geared to overturning the dominant fairies and princess culture (which is OK is small doses, and harmful when it literally becomes the thing girls aspire to) and raising a generation of girls on a steady diet of aspiration, real life role models, and achievements that have no bearing on gender or appearance.

The team behind ‘Science Wide Open’ are creator and editor John Coveyou, writer Mary Wissinger, illustrator Danielle Pioli and project manager Shelley Spence. This is the same team who created the $103K Kickstarter success ‘My First Science Textbook’ series, so they are definitely on their game when it comes to spreading the word about their projects.

The three book set, ‘Women in Chemistry’, ‘Women in Biology’, and ‘Women in Physics’ features a girl filled with curiosity who can’t help but wonder about the world around her.

The text is kid-approved, featuring science and history wrapped up in engaging narrative. The incredible artwork of Danielle Pioli brings the stories of female scientists like Jane C Cooke – revolutionary cancer researcher, Émilie du Châtelet – translator and correct-er of Newton’s famous work, and Dawn Shaughnessy – discoverer of six elements.


We all want to foster the natural curiosity of children. Whether we’re examining the beauty of a butterfly’s wings, or wondering why an apple falls down instead of up, watching our kids and students learn something new is one of life’s joys. ‘Science Wide Open’ offers another precious opportunity to enjoy the connection that comes from learning together.

In their campaign video, we see a handful of girls talking to camera about what all girls want.

“I want to work really hard to make great scientific discoveries, and then have someone else take all the credit,” says the first girl featured.

“I want to do all the work to earn a degree in science, but not be given a degree,” says the second.

“I want to work harder and longer than everyone else, and make less money,” says the third, before you start to realize this isn’t actually what young girls wish for, it is just unfortunately what women in STEM field experience.


The gender gap starts in the academic world and remains in the workforce. Although women earn roughly 57% of all bachelor degrees in the US, when it comes to science and engineering, the number starts to lower. Only 39% of Earth science degrees, 43% of mathematics degrees, 19% of engineering, and 18% of computer science degrees are earned by women.

While women make up 58% of jobs in the social sciences and 48% in biological sciences, when it comes to computer science and math that number decreases to 25% and even lower to 13% for engineering jobs. Science seems to be the one STEM area where women are doing better than others, but the representation of women currently in these fields as well as throughout history must continue.

With books like ‘Science Wide Open’ and many others like it, just image the impact on a generation of girls who have not been sucked into the societal gender norms telling them via media messages and magazines to focus only on their exterior, and that happiness comes from finding a male partner.

If this sounds like the kind of empowering narrative you want your daughters to grow up with, we encourage you to donate to the Kickstarter campaign while it is still running. These books expect to be ready by Spring 2017.

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