In the 1940s and '50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women--known as "human computers"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading. This month's Chuckanut Radio Hour is a celebration of Whatcom Community College's 50th anniversary. Recognized as one of the top community colleges in the state and the nation, Whatcom is a leader in encouraging young women to consider STEM careers. Read more about WCC's anniversary at whatcom.edu/50. Featuring live music from Louis Ledford.
"If Hidden Figures has you itching to learn more about the women who worked in the space program, pick up Nathalia Holt's lively, immensely readable history, Rise of the Rocket Girls." --Entertainment Weekly
Nathalia Holt, Ph.D. is a science writer and the New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars (Little, Brown, 2016) and Cured: The People who Defeated HIV (Penguin Random House 2014). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She has trained at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and Tulane University. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Boston, MA.
The Chuckanut Radio Hour, a recipient of Bellingham's prestigious Mayor's Arts Award, is a radio variety show that began in January 2007. Each Chuckanut Radio Hour includes guest authors, musicians, performance poet Kevin Murphy, Cascadia Weekly columnist Alan Rhodes, and episodes of "As the Ham Turns" serial radio comedy, not to mention groaner jokes by hosts Chuck & Dee Robinson and announcer Rich Donnelly. The Chuckanut Radio Hour's first guest was Erik Larson and has since included Alexander McCall Smith, Elizabeth George, Cheryl Strayed, Sherman Alexie, Tom Robbins and Garrison Keillor, among many others. Tickets for the Chuckanut Radio Hour are $5 and are available at Village Books and BrownPaperTickets.com. Receive a free ticket with pre-purchase of Rise of the Rocket Girls (OR if you've already bought the book, with each paid ticket you'll receive a $5 voucher to spend on Village Books merchandise at the show). The Radio Hour airs every Friday at 7am, Saturday evening at 7pm and Sunday at 9pm on SPARK RADIO, KMRE 102.3FM. Co-sponsored by the Whatcom Community College Foundation, 12th Street Shoes, and Westside Pizza.