Happy Birthday Florence Nightingale!



The ‘Lady with the Lamp’ who helped revolutionize hospital conditions and transform nursing into an honorable vocation turns 196 on May 12th.

Florence Nightingale was born May 12 1820 into a wealthy and affluent British family. Nightingale shied way from the traditional route of marrying a wealthy man and instead turned her devotion towards the vocation of nursing, which at the time was considered to just be lowly menial labor. After many years of training and caring for the sick the Crimson War broke out between Russia and Britain and she was called upon by the Sidney Herbert the Secretary of War, asking her to organize a group of nurses to come tend to the soldiers in Crimea. There in the hospital at Constantinople, the sanitary conditions were far from superior and were even causing most of the wounded soldiers to die due to sickness rather than from their wartime injuries. Nightingale made it her mission to improve the sanitary and overall condition of the hospital. With her work, she was able to decrease the death toll in the hospital by almost two thirds. After the war had ended and Nightingale returned to her home she was given a reward by the Queen of England which she used for establishing the St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Nightingale’s legacy revolutionized the conditions of hospital facilities, views on nursing, and so much more. She will forever be known as the ‘Lady of the Lamp’ who helped guide us to a brighter future.

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Featured Girl in Real Life Science: Dr. Antonia Novello

Antonia C. Novello was born August 23, 1944, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Novello was a bright young girl and graduated high school at age 15 and then received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rio Piedras and then her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Puerto Rico at San Juan. In 1979, Dr. Novello joined the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Over the next twelve years, she rose from project officer in the Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases to become Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It was her special interest in pediatric AIDS that caught the attention of the White House. In 1990, President George Bush appointed her Surgeon General of the United States making Novello the first female/Hispanic Surgeon General. After serving as Surgeon General for three years, Dr. Novello became a special representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund, where she expanded her efforts to address the health and nutritional needs of women, children, and adolescents, to a global scale. Later she began teaching at John Hopkins School of Health and Hygiene as a visiting professor, where she advised on health services for poor communities. Novello’s influential life is one that many young girls can aspire to.

What are you doing in May?

Explorer's University Lockup 300

Explorer’s University: Dissection Series

Discover the annatomical features of various mammals during this safe, hands-on dissection! Saturday, May 14th from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History and Science. $8 for members, $10 for non-members. Purchase tickets here! 


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Da Vinci – The Genius 

Da Vinci – The Genius features 17 themed galleries with over 200 pieces, including life-size reproductions of over 70 machine inventions, educational animations of da Vinci’s most notable works and an eye-opening, in-depth analysis of his most famous work, the “Mona Lisa.” Push, pull, crank and interact with many of these exhibits for a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind them. Opens May 20th, purchase tickets here


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