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March Madness Learning Activity:  Women Trailblazers

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 4 years, 7 months ago



This Learning Activity Uses the Popular March Madness tournament to learn the hidden histories and untold stories of women trailblazers in math, science and politics.




Students research a woman whose contributions matter greatly today, but whose life is often omitted from textbooks and curriculum frameworks.



Students present the life and times of each woman using a March Madness tournament bracket format, proceeding through successive rounds of presentations to determine the most influential trailblazer.


In fact, everyone in the tournament is a memorable and consequential change-maker and students learn about woman they would otherwise not know about from their school classes.




March Madness:  Using Tournament Brackets to Debate Academic Questions, The New York Times Learning Network (March 19, 2010)


March Madness brackets can be used in many different classes to promote many different types of learning.  Here is an example from science:




Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman to run for President, declared

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."





Examples of Women Trailblazers and Change Makers














    • Caroline Herschel - An astronomer who with her brother discovered the planet Uranus



    • Ada Lovelace - Mathematician and First Computer Programmer





    • Marie Curie - Scientist and Two-Time Nobel Prize Recipient







    • Alice Paul - 19th Amendment Champion and Women's Rights Activist







    • Hedy Lamarr - Hollywood Actress and Technology Inventor










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