Women in History


Women in History Program 2018

The AAUW – Camarillo Women in History Program will offer the following important women to the schools in the Camarillo area in March 2018.  If you are interested in portraying one of these women to students in their classrooms, or just wish more information about the program, please click here and leave your name, contact information and, if you would like, a school preference.  If you are a parent of a student in one of the schools we will be sure to connect you with the Women’s History Representative at your school.  We thank in advance the many parents who will volunteer to portray these women.


Mesa Union PFO partners with AAUW - Camarillo to bring these women to life at Mesa.  Cindy Davis is our Women in History Program Coordinator.  Look for more details as we get closer to March 2018!

Science and Math

Mary Anning (1799-1847) (Grades K-3)

  • Fossil Hunter from Lyme, England who made three important discoveries that contributed to the development of paleontology
  • She will discuss how she made those discoveries
  • Activities include how rare it is to become a fossil and how a fossil is formed
  • Suitable costume: long skirt and blouse.  AAUW will have long skirts and some blouses to lend.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) (Grades 4 -8)

  • Known as the pioneer of modern nursing
  • She will tell about reforming hospital sanitation methods, pushing for reform of British military health-care system, she was a heroine during and after the Crimean War
  • Activities include a demonstration of cross bandaging as practiced during the Crimean War and a discussion of how nursing has changed.
  • Suitable costume: dark long skirt and white blouse. A shawl and white cap would be nice additions.

Katherine Johnson (1918-present) (Grades 4-8) pilot script 

  • “Human computer” who calculated the paths in space for Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong
  • She will tell how she succeeded when there was extensive segregation largely because she was curious, persistent, and asked lots of questions.
  • Activities include some simple role playing and consideration of some variables needed to calculate space paths.
  • Suitable costume: professional dress. She was meticulous in appearance.

The Art

Jan Brett (1949-present) (Grades K-2)

  • Children’s author who decided she wanted to be an illustrator in kindergarten.
  • She will talk about her travels, some of her books, probably Fritz and Hedgies Surprise
  • Optional activity of drawing a hedgehog.  No need to be an artist as we will have transparencies to show the steps — no drawing needs to be done by the performer
  • Suitable costume: nice pants outfit or dress — probably not casual jeans.  If you happen to have a Scandinavian sweater, that would be a nice touch.

Judith Baca (1946 –present) (Grades 3 -5)

  • Muralist who designed The Great Wall in San Fernando Valley
  • She will discuss her goal in designing the Great Wall which was to tell the stories of groups of people who are not represented in most books and to get young people who did not get along with each other to work together on this art project
  • Optional activity for students to state what they would choose for topics for a mural about their school or their families
  • Suitable costume: dress as college professor or an artist working (painting overalls or painting smock would make a good costume).

Maya Lin (1959-present) (Grades 3 or 4 – 8)

  • Architect and sculptor, best known for the Viet Nam Memorial but has done a large variety of projects
  • She will tell how she follows a unique pattern of creating her projects – one part of this is a written explanation – and how environmental concerns are important to her when designing projects.
  • She will discuss two of her current projects — the Confluence Project and What’s Missing.
  • Suitable costume: casual black clothes (her favorite when working) or simple and elegant dress

Social Studies

Mary Pickersgill and Grace Wisher (indentured African American servant)

  • Both women worked on sewing by hand the huge flag (30 X 42 feet) that inspired the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner
  • Presenter will tell the story of how the flag inspired Francis Scott Keys to write it and show parts of the flag so that students will see how big it really was
  • Activities include a discussion of different flags the country has had, making a five-pointed star, flag etiquette, and American Trivia
  • Suitable costume: long skirt and blouse with a cap on her head. AAUW has some to lend on a shared basis.

Sacagawea (1788(?) -1812) (Grades 3-5)

  • Native American who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the West Coast
  • She will tell the students that she was not a guide but how she helped them in many ways.  She will also tell them why being a woman on the expedition was so important.
  • Optional activity will show how the people were able to communicate when they were speaking different languages and its importance to the journey.
  • There will also be an activity about the different lifestyles of some of the Native American groups they met on the trail and a possible discussion of the new animals they discovered on the trail
  • Suitable costume: any typical Native American outfit.  AAUW has several to lend.

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

  • Woman who disguised herself as a man and served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War
  • She will tell the students 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.
  • Suitable costume: AAUW will provide a long skirt and a Revolutionary War Soldiers uniform.

Other Important Women

Juliette Low (1860-1927) (Grades K-2)

  • Founder of the Girl Scouts of USA
  • She will tell about her childhood with simple entertainment – no computers etc. — and how much she enjoyed the out of doors. She also will tell about becoming deaf but not letting it hamper her.
  • Activities involve simple first aid and bird identification
  • Suitable costume: long, dark colored skirt, white blouse, matching blazer (if available), neck tie or scarf, and/or a hat.

Molly Brown (1867-1932) (Grades 3-8)

  • Heroine of the Titanic. She helped women board the lifeboats and selflessly assisted with rescue efforts.
  • She will tell how she used her fame and money on behalf of many different causes, including generously giving to charities.
  • Activities involve a choice—icebergs, Morse code, how the ship sank, all about ships, and how safe ships are today.
  • Suitable costume: long dress or skirt. The more flamboyant the better.  A fur coat would be a nice addition.  AAUW will have some to lend.

Middle School Social Studies

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

  • First and only woman pharaoh of Egypt
  • She 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
  • Optional activities involve 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 performer and for the two students with speaking roles if they are used

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) (Grade 7 only)

  • Queen of England during Renaissance period of English history
  • She will tell 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 many students to be used in non-speaking roles.
  • 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-(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.
  • This is a full period presentation and will particularly appeal to people who like to use a lot of props
  • Optional activities include recruitment of a soldier and typical camp life during the Civil War, care of injured soldier, and civil war trivia
  • Suitable costume: dark colored ankle length skirt and solid-colored long-sleeved blouse.  AAUW will have a costume to lend.


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