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Inspirational Women of the 20th Century

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International Women's Day is on the 8th of March and is a day to celebrate women's achievements, whilst also acknowledging that we still have a way to go for equality.

I decided to make a LEGO ideas set to celebrate the achievements of four historical women. It was really hard to narrow down which women to choose as there are so many who are inspirational. In the end I chose women from four different sectors. 

Science: Marie Curie
War Heroine: Noor Inayat Khan
Social Justice: Rosa Parks
Arts: Beatrix Potter

The Lego set features 4 different scenes built on wedge plates 10x10 that are interconnected but can also be taken apart into individual sections. Each inspirational woman has her own scene depicting something about her life, along with a nameplate featuring her name and year of birth and death.

Marie Curie 1867 to 1934

Born in Poland to a poor family, Marie Curie challenged gender norms, discrimination and poverty in order to study science. She led pioneering research into radioactivity, discovering two new elements polonium and radium. She won the Nobel prize in 1903 for physics and in 1911 for chemistry for her work and she became the first female professor at the University of Paris.

The Marie Curie scene features a laboratory with workbenches, cabinet, notice board, microscope and periodic table sticker. It also includes chemistry flasks, bottle, books, geode crystal, syringe and medal along with a Marie Curie minifigure.

Noor Inayat Khan 1914 to 1944

A Muslim Sufi and pacifist, Noor Inayat Khan showed immense bravery when she was recruited as a secret agent in 1942. She was the first female radio operator to be sent by Britain to France, chosen because she had advanced radio skills and was bilingual. She arrived in France in June 1943 and ended up virtually in charge of the resistance, doing the work of six radio operators. She managed to evade capture until October 1943. Sadly, she was executed in 1944 and was awarded the George Cross for bravery posthumously.

The Noor Inayat Khan scene features a lamp lit secret room with radio operating equipment, headphones, French flag, desk and chair, with a Morse Code poster sticker. The set also comes with a teacup and a George Cross medal, along with a Noor Inayat Khan minifigure.

Rosa Parks 1913 to 2005

On the 1st of December 1955, Rosa Parks, a black women, courageously refused to give up her seat for a white man on the bus and was subsequently arrested. Although she was not the first black person to do so, she was well placed to see through a court challenge and inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She became an international icon for the racial segregation resistance. She stood up against racism for all black people.

The Rosa Parks scene features the iconic bus complete with handrail, bus seats, windows, advertisement stickers and bus stop sign. There is also a mugshot height background and booking number with handcuff and bag elements, along with a minifigure of Rosa Park

Beatrix Potter 1866 to 1943

Beatrix Potter, best remembered as a writer and illustrator, was also a natural scientist and conservationist. She overcame rejection by publishers for her tales of Peter Rabbit, going on to self-publish it. It was a massive success. Even now, 150 years later, her book sales still exceed 2 million per year. Whilst she is most famous for being a writer and illustrator, she had many other achievements including leaving farms in the Lake District to the National Trust upon her death so that the landscape could be preserved.

The Beatrix Potter scene is a garden with writing desk, painting, plants and flowers. It includes lots of elements including rabbit, garden fork, bucket, paint palette, paintbrush, quill and letter, along with a Beatrix Potter minifigure.

Thanks to my family for encouraging me through this project and to everyone who supports this idea! I would love it if you would comment as well.

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