AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Women of NASA will soon get the Lego treatment.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Lego announced this week that it will make a set featuring five female pioneers from NASA's history.
CORNISH: The idea to immortalize the women of NASA in brick form came from MIT News science editor Maia Weinstock. Her idea won a Lego crowdsource contest.
MAIA WEINSTOCK: It melded two of my passions, one being history of women in science and the other being space and astronomy and NASA.
SHAPIRO: You might know some of the five featured women, like astronauts Mae Jemison and Sally Ride, who was the first American woman in space and one of Weinstock's childhood idols.
WEINSTOCK: I also, though, wanted to make sure that I included a diverse range of women who had different roles at NASA.
CORNISH: So it's not just astronauts. The set includes computer scientists Margaret Hamilton, too. Since Lego's announcement, Maia Weinstock has gotten a flood of positive comments.
WEINSTOCK: A lot of people have said that if they had seen something like this, they might have been inspired to go into engineering or even know what an engineer was.
SHAPIRO: And she says featuring women in science and math fields is important, whether in a book, movie or a Lego set.
WEINSTOCK: Both for girls, in terms of showing them what they can do and what they can be, and then also for boys, just in terms of normalizing that women are in these roles and should be expected to be there.
CORNISH: And who knows? Maybe the next Nancy Grace Roman, who pioneered NASA's astronomy research program...
SHAPIRO: ...Or the next Katherine Johnson, who calculated flight trajectories for the Apollo programs...
CORNISH: ...Will be inspired by these no-longer-hidden figures.
(SOUNDBITE OF INCUBUS SONG, "BATTLESTAR SCRALATCHTICA")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.