Jackson Heights students celebrate Women’s History Month with digital artwork featured across the city

Global Kids
Photo courtesy of Global Kids

In celebration of Women’s History Month, students at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights created digital artwork highlighting five prominent women of color pioneers in the STEM fields who have made a significant impact in New York. 

The Renaissance Charter School, located at 35-59 81st St., is one of three schools participating in the citywide art campaign in collaboration with Global Kids, LinkNYC and the New York Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).

The students artwork will be featured on 55 Link Kiosks across the city from March 1 to 31.

(Photos courtesy of Global Kids)

“This month, New Yorkers are going to encounter some of the city’s most influential women in the science and technology field just by walking by a Link Kiosk,” said Samir Saini, commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “Global Kids students have done a tremendous job telling the story of how women in STEM have shaped our city and country — and we hope that it will inspire others to join this growing field.”

Global kids in middle and high school developed static portraits through a digital design project to honor the five women of color in STEM fields: 

Jane Cooke Wright — a pioneering cancer researcher and surgeon noted for her contributions to chemotherapy.

Marie Maynard Daly — the first African-American woman to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States.

Mabel Keaton Staupers —  a pioneer in the American nursing profession.

Sinah Estelle Kelley — a chemist who worked on the mass production of penicillin.

Susan McKinney Steward — the third African-American woman to earn a medical degree and the first in New York State.

“Last year we had done a project in support of Black History Month, and this month we wanted to do it for Women’s History Month, and we decided to honor women of color in STEM,” said Matthew Wallace, senior trainer with Global Kids. “We took four months of planning and several months of drawing to create the images.”

Estella De La Cruz Melo, 14, described the project as “very fun and informal.”

“I learned a lot of information such as what these women do and how they’re not really recognized,” said De La Cruz Melo.

Luca Timentel, 14, enjoyed working on the project learning about the women who he said should’ve received credit for their contributions to the STEM field.

“It’s unfair that these women didn’t get the recognition that they deserved,” said Timentel. “It was a good learning experience learning about the women, and I would participate in a project like this again.”

This is Link’s second collaboration with Global Kids, a nonprofit educational organization for global learning and youth development ensuring that children from underserved communities have the knowledge, skills and experiences to succeed in school and their communities.

Last year, Global Kids students at P.S. 96 produced portraits of influential black scientists such as Garrett Morgan and Mae Jemison in celebration of Black History Month. For this project, Global Kids youth from Manhattan East School, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School and Renaissance Charter High School conducted research and selected the five women to honor.

“Women are too often overlooked or completely left out of the history of science and technology,” said Ruth Fasoldt, Link’s director of External Affairs. “We are thrilled to highlight women innovators on Links to celebrate their accomplishments and significant contributions to their fields. Links throughout the five boroughs will showcase the digital illustrations of Global Kids students to raise awareness of these pioneers and hopefully inspire more young women along the way.”

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