New Lego Set Honors 'Women of NASA'

    18 October, 2017

    This is What's Trending Today...

    Sally Ride, Mae Jemison, Nancy Grace Roman and Margaret Hamilton are important names in American space exploration.

    Jemison is an astronaut, as was Ride. Scientists Roman and Hamilton worked with NASA, the American space agency.

    Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Now she is honored with a Lego figure.
    Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Now she is honored with a Lego figure.

    Each woman is receiving a very high honor. No, they are not being admitted into a space "Hall of Fame." But this honor might be even better: they are becoming Lego action figures.

    Thanks to the work of a Lego fan and editor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the four women will be represented in miniature toy form starting on November 1.

    That is when people will be able to purchase the first-ever "Women of NASA" Lego set.

    The path to Lego fame began in the summer of 2016. Maia Weinstock is the deputy editor of MIT News, a publication of the famous university. She is also a Lego fan.

    According to a story in the publication, Weinstock has an interesting hobby. She makes Lego figures representing important people in the history of MIT.

    But, most recently, she decided not to limit herself to MIT. Weinstock thought bigger and submitted the names of five women to Lego's "Ideas" website.

    She called her submission "Ladies rock outer space!" and described how important those women were to U.S. space exploration.

    As soon as 10,000 people expressed their support for the set, Lego announced it would produce it.

    In February, Lego said Weinstock's set would be the next Ideas set. And on Wednesday, the toy-maker announced the set would be available in November.

    The fifth woman in Weinstock's proposal was Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician made famous by the recent film "Hidden Figures." However, Lego could not agree with Johnson and her family about the look of the figure. So, it was not produced.

    The set also includes representations of the Hubble space telescope and the Challenger space shuttle.

    Many Lego fans are excited by the news. One Twitter user named Beth had a one-word reaction: "Woohooooooooo!!"

    And that's What's Trending Today.

    I'm Caty Weaver.

    Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English based on reports by the Associated Press and the MIT News. Caty Weaver was the editor.

    What do you think about this new Lego set? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


    Words in This Story

    inspire – v. to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

    Hall of Fame – n. a place that is like a museum with exhibits honoring the famous people and events related to a particular activity

    figure – n. a drawing, sculpture, etc., that represents the form of a person or animal

    express – v. to become known or seen as the result of a particular action

    miniature– adj. very small

    hobby– n. an activity that a person does for pleasure when not working

    ladies– n. women

    toy– n. something a child plays with

    submit– v. to give (a document, proposal, piece of writing, etc.) to someone so that it can be considered or approved

    rock– v. (slang) to be very enjoyable, pleasing, or effective