IMET Summer Interns' Inspirational Scientists

Rosalind Franklin

Presented by Zoma Atnafou

Rosalind Franklin was a physical chemist born in the year 1920. Dr. Franklin worked on X-ray diffraction technology and applied it to the study of DNA, viruses, and graphite. Most notably, Dr. Franklin’s research on DNA established and provided proof of DNA’s helical structure. This research laid the foundation for the Nobel Prize Winning discovery of DNA’s structure of which she was given no credit for her significant contribution.


Elizabeth Blackwell

Presented by Andrea White

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. After facing numerous obstacles and intense discrimination, Dr. Blackwell opened a clinic to treat poor women in New York City as well as a medical college to support women in the medical field.

Joan Murrell Owens

Presented by Makayla Stewart

Joan Murrell Owens was a female marine biologist who classified a genus of button coral and three new species. While in school, Dr. Owens had to create her own marine biology program by combining a major in geology and a minor in zoology. In 1984 she was the first black woman to earn a PhD in geology.

Marguerite Williams & Mary E Clutter

Presented by Libby Gilmore

Marguerite Williams (pictured) was the first black person to earn a PhD in geology in the United States. Throughout her career, Dr. Williams focused on environmental racism making her one of the earliest activists.

Mary E. Clutter was a plant biologist and strong activist for the equality of women in the STEM field. As a researcher at Yale, Dr. Clutter never felt she was given an equal opportunity in comparison to her male counterparts. After taking on a new role at the National Science Foundation, Dr. Clutter used her position to advocate for equal opportunities for all based on merit alone.

Steve Irwin

Presented by Julia Moya

Steve Irwin was a dedicated and passionate Australian wildlife conservationist who raised awareness for wildlife conservation through his engaging TV personality and his family owned zoo. Best known for his show, The Crocodile Hunter, Steve dedicated his life to the protection of threatened and endangered species.

 Dr. Yung Tae Kim

Presented by Emma Yockman

Dr. Yung Tae Kim is a physicist, skateboarder, teacher, and digital artist. After earning a PhD in physics, Dr. Tae created a truly unique career by combining all of his passions. Dr. Tae has given TedTalks on skateboarding and science education, served as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times to explain the physics behind certain X Games tricks, and redesigned the control system for a popular skateboarding video game.

Robert H Goddard

Presented by Eric Sibanda

Physicist Robert Goddard is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. Goddard constructed and successfully tested the first liquid fueled rocket in 1926. Among Goddard’s many successes he received two US patents, one for his liquid fueled rocket and another for a two/three state rocket using solid fuel.

All That Came Before

Presented by Jacqueline Rogers

"I wish that I could pinpoint which specific scientist stood out to me the most but focusing on one would take away the credit of all the brilliant scientists who faced immense hardship in order for women like myself and minorities to be recognized within this field. The black women who had to walk miles, take buses, use separate dining and restrooms while conducting the same amount of work as their white peers and even surpassing them in every way. The women who studied biology, chemistry, physics in secret because those kinds of subjects were never matters to be discussed let alone learned by women. The women who bear the responsibility of having kids, raising them, keeping a roof over their head and yet, achieve more than they’d ever dreamt of. The women whose work was stolen from them, and those whose work has yet to be rightfully attributed. It’s hard for me to imagine how one woman alone, one minority alone has paved the way for me to be where I am now…”