STEM Innovator

by Morgan Simmons

Early life

She was the 3rd born in her family of 9 kids. Her father built a school at which she attended. Then when she got to the age 18 she helped teaching the kids herself. Her family were Quakers. She was born on August 18th, 1818, in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She had also lived in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Later on in life

Maria became the first professional female astronomer in the Unites States. She was looking out of her telescope one night when she thought she saw a comet that she has never seen before. Her dad helped by getting people to look into it, and she was right. It was indeed a new comet. The comet was named after her, it was called the "Miss Mitchell's Comet".

She was the first to discover the orbit of a new comet. Who knows, if she never discovered it maby they wouldn't of found a new one until much later on in history.

Maria's Achievements

To award her for her great discovery, they not only named the comet after her but she got the gold metal. She was also elected as member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. She once said, "There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness."

In the World

In 1818 she was born, but so was the man named James Joule. He was born on December 28, 1818. He grew up to be a teacher of science and Physics around the same time as Maria. After Maria found the new comet she stuck to being an astronomer and she became a teacher. After she stopped teaching she realized how much she missed it and wanted to go back to teaching.

The End of her Career

Maria never got married or had any kids. In ill health, she retired from teaching at Vassar in 1888, and died on June 28, 1889 in Lynn Massachusetts. She is buried with family members at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Nantucket.