With so many STEM-in-the-curriculum discussions and the urgency to encourage 21st Century girls and young women to take more interest in science and technology, it’s exciting to discover a resource that shares a story about women and some amazing mathematical achievements.
Check out Top Secret Rosies a video about the women, recruited by the United States Army during World War II, who worked on a top-secret mathematics project. The women, all of whom possessed strong math skills, were recommended by their college professors and travelled to Philadelphia to do the complex ballistics calculations that were required to aim weapons more accurately.
Sometimes these highly skilled women, often referred to by Army as female “computers,” spent the entire day on a single problem. They were so skilled, in fact, that a small group of the women remained after the war to program ENIAC, the first computer.
The film’s producer, LeAnne Erickson, discovered the Secret Rosies’ story when she was interviewing two of the women in Philadelphia on another topic. This CNN Story, Rediscovering World War II’s Female “Computers.” tells more and features a terrific slide show.
The article points out that “…computer was a job title, not a machine.”
You can watch Top Secret Rosies at the Amazon instant video site.