Daring Women in Aviation

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center
Subject Category
  • History
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring Engineering and Technology
Grade Level
  • 05-08
  • 09-12
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 050 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 060 min(s)

Event Focus

What are some of the contributions that women have made to the history of aviation? What were some of the obstacles overcome by women in their quest to make aviation history?



This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation at Goddard Space Flight Center.

This module is appropriate for video conference (not web conference) presentation ONLY at Dryden Flight Research Center

Women have played a major role throughout the history of aviation. From Harriet Quimby to Jackie Cochran, women have made significant contributions despite the many obstacles confronting them.  Explore the contributions made by women aviators and the obstacles they faced.  


Instructional Objectives Grades 5 - 8:


The learner will identify any prior knowledge of any female aviators and what impacts these women had on the history of aviation.


The learner will explore 20th and 21st century American female aviators through an educator and multimedia shorts




The learner will discover how the advancement of technology and changes in politics made an impact on the number of opportunities for American female aviators.




The learner will work with a team to acquire further information about these historical figures.


The learner will work with a team to identify and recall the achievements of these women in a game-like setting.


Sequence of Events


Pre-Conference Activities


Explore with students what they may already know about famous aviators – male and female. How many aviators’ names can they recall? What time period in the 20th or 21st century do the students think they belong? Build a timeline with the information the students can recall.


Videoconference Activities


The videoconference will provide background information on eight famous women in aviation history: Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Jerrie Cobb, Sally Ride, Patty Wagstaff and Eileen Collins. After going over the presentation the students will participate in a question and answer game that encourages participation and promotes learning.


Post-Conference Activities


1. Build a new timeline with the information learned from this event. How do the two timelines compare? Where do they think the male aviator achievements fit within the female achievements?

2. Have students write a monologue of a female aviation pioneer. The monologue should reflect the time period in which the pilot marked our history, the trials she had to overcome in her position and how she has influenced the woman’s role in science and technology.




Social Sciences, Grades 5-12

ERA 8: The Great Depression And World War II (1929-1945)

Understands the causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs

ERA 9: Postwar United States (1945 TO EARLY 1970s)

Understands the struggle for racial and gender equality and the extension of civil liberties



Science and technology in society


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Page Last Updated: November 5th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator