2017 Women in History


Women in History for 2017

The women who will be offered this year in the AAUW Women’s History Program in March 2017 to the schools in the Camarillo area are listed below with the suggested grades.  If you are interested in portraying one of these women or just wish more information about the program, please click here.  Presenters from AAUW, parents, and community members are all welcome.

Mesa Union PFO is in need of a parent Women in History Program Coordinator.  The coordinator will arrange for costumes with AAUW and schedule classroom time with teachers for presentations  week of February 27, 2017 thru March 3, 2017 (M-F).  Please email info@mesapfo.org if you can help.  Volunteers are need to in order to bring this program to Mesa!  Thank you.

The Ocean

Lynne Cox (1957-present) K-2

  • A long distance open water swimmer who has swam in all the oceans of the world and is the author of six books.
  • Emphasized will be the story of her experience swimming with a baby gray whale to unite him/her with mother.
  • Activities will involve facts about a gray whale including a demonstration of the effectiveness of blubber in keeping a whale warm
  • Suitable costume would be sweats or anything that you might wear to the beach. Since she never wore a wet suit even when swimming in Antarctica, this would not be appropriate.  One could also dress as one would to give a formal lecture.

Sylvia Earle (1935-present) (3 -8)

  • National Geographic Explorer in Residence and avid spokesman for ocean conservation and marine protected activities in our country and world wide
  • Among her accomplishments are living under the ocean for two weeks in the Tektite, having aa record dive in a “Jim Suit” and helping to develop underwater vehicles to explore the ocean
  • An activity will be about problems in the ocean today and what can and has been done.
  • A suitable costume would be anything that she would wear in a submersible, possibly a wet suit (although she actually wears a dry suit), or an outfit suitable for giving a lecture.

Other Sciences

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) K-2

  • First American woman doctor
  • The discussion will include information on how hard it was for a woman then to become a doctor
  • Activity will involve the importance of washing hands and cleanliness
  • Suitable costume would be a long skirt and high-necked blouse (a simple brooch at the throat would be a nice touch).

Debbie Sterling (1983-present) Grades 3 -5

  • Woman who went through engineering school feeling that she didn’t belong and is dedicating her life to see that our girls in the future fit in the engineering profession
  • In college she found that she was deficient in spatial skills and learned that  in our culture many girls have not developed good spatial skills
  • She is devoting her life to applying her engineering skills to develop toys that will appeal to girls (and boys also) so they will develop those skills
  • Activities involve spatial relations puzzles and the building of a simple catapult
  • A suitable costume – business attire

Social Studies

Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty  (1849-1887) (K-2 or 3)

  • Author of a poem that is now at the base of the Statue of Liberty. She wrote it to auction it to help pay for the statue.
  • Also discussed will be the help she gave to the Jewish immigrants
  • Activities will involve the Statue of Liberty.
  • Suitable costume would be long dark skirt and white blouse (Victorian look)

Sandra Day O’Connor (1930-present) (3 or 4 –8)

  • First woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court
  • Discussed will be her childhood on the ranch, her education, her career, and discrimination that she encountered early in her career.
  • Activity for elementary students will involve a simulated court case related to school and applied to the Supreme Court. For Middle School it will be a discussion of the Supreme Court
  • A suitable costume will be a judicial robe. AAUW will have some to lend

Sonia Sotomayor (1954-present)  3 or 4 –8)

  • First Hispanic judge appointed to the United States Supreme Court
  • Discussed will be her childhood in New York, her education, discrimination she encountered, her career and how she rose to be a Supreme Court Justice
  • Activity for elementary students will involve a simulated court case related to school and applied to the Supreme Court. For Middle School it will be a discussion of the Supreme Court
  • A suitable costume will be a judicial robe. AAUW will have some to lend

Deborah Samson (5 or 4-5) (1760-1827)

  • Woman who disguised herself as a man and served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War
  • A discussion of what she did in the military and how it was discovered that she was a woman
  • Script includes several speaking roles for students and an optional marching activity.  No advanced preparation is needed for the speaking roles.
  • This presentation will be a minimum of ½ hour with a 15 minute break between performances –the presentation involves a simple costume switch and a fairly large number of props.
  • AAUW will provide a long skirt and a Revolutionary War Soldier’s uniform.

The Arts

Grandma Moses (1860-1961) (K-3)

  • An American folk artist who began her career at age 70
  • She painted over 1500 pictures , many of them about her childhood which was a simpler time than today
  • “Grandma” will have pictures to show and will discuss her painting techniques
  • A suitable costume would be “any type of Old Lady dress” Wigs also work well.  AAUW has a couple of such dresses to lend.

Annie Lee (1935-2014) (K-3)

  • African American painter whose pictures are about everyday life, some of them showing the differences between life in the 30’s and 40’s and now.  She has painted well over 150 paintings
  • Script will emphasize the importance of following your dreams –she did not become an artist until she was in her 40’s as she was concerned with earning a living. She has helped new artists just as someone helped her as well as inspiring children to follow their dreams and never give up.
  • There will be a comparison of one of her paintings to a similar painting by Norman Rockwell
  • A suitable costume for Annie Lee would be an ankle length colorful free-flowing dress. This is what most pictures have shown her wearing.

Patricia Polacco—(1944-present)—K-3– this is a pilot script and will only be done in 2 or 3 schools this year

  • Author and illustrator of over 100 children’s books
  • She did not learn to read until she was 14 due to dyslexia. A teacher helped her overcome the problem and she went to college and obtained several degrees.
  • Discussion will involve some of her books, how she writes them, and how she illustrates them
  • Costume would be professional dress

Margaret Bourke-White ((1906-1971) (4 -8)

  • The first successful woman photojournalist who risked her life to photograph from such dangerous places as atop skyscrapers, inside steel mills and on the front lines of World War II and whose now iconic images include people suffering in the Dust Bowl and Gandhi at his spinning wheel.
  • You’ll tell about her persistence, bravery and artistry competing in a man’s field.
  • An optional activity will be showing her complex heavy camera equipment versus the cell phone cameras many grade school students use today.
  • She dressed simply–khaki shirt and trousers, or slacks, (but no denim “dungarees”) and tailored shirts or turtle necks.

Women for Middle School

Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty)—for grade 6 only

  • First and only woman pharaoh of Egypt who will discuss how she became pharaoh, her accomplishments, dress and make-up of the day, and rights of women at that time in Egypt
  • There are optional sections on life in Egypt and Archaeology—most presenters will do one of these or parts of both.
  • Two of the optional activities are translating hieroglyphics and putting together an artifact.
  • There are optional speaking roles for two students and optional non-speaking roles for thirteen students.
  • This is usually a full period presentation.
  • AAUW will have costumes for the presenter and for the two students with speaking roles if students are used.

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)—for grade 7 only

  • Queen of England during a glorious part of English history — script will deal with how she became queen, how England became a world power during her reign, how the arts flourished, and some of the problems she faced.   She will also be sharing some details about life in England at the time.
  • There is an opportunity for a number of students to be used in non-speaking roles should a school and performer desire this approach.  This is being encouraged this year but is not required.
  • This is usually a full period presentation.
  • AAUW will have a costume for the queen that will fit most sizes.

Clara Barton (1821-1912) and the Civil War—–For grade 8 only

  • During the Civil War she distributed supplies to the battlefields and nursed the sick and wounded.  She also worked to improve the rights of all people and founded the American Red Cross.
  • Optional activities include recruitment of a soldier and typical camp life during the Civil War, care of injured soldier, and civil war trivia.
  • This is a full period presentation and will particularly appeal to people who like to use a lot of props.
  • Clara wore a simple solid dark-colored, ankle-length skirt and solid-colored long sleeved blouse.  AAUW will have a costume to lend.