Inventors are inspirational. Rachel Zimmerman Brachman is an inventor, educator, and space scientist. When she was just twelve years old, her invention won awards and has since made a huge difference. She invented the “Blissymbol Printer” software program in 1984. This can be used by someone with disabilities to communicate by translating pushed images into written text. The invention was first used to communicate English and French, however has received world-wide recognition.
Rachel Zimmerman was born in 1972 in London, Ontario, Canada. Rachel’s science fair project went on to win her a medal at the Canada-wide World Exhibition of Young Inventors in 1985 and the YTV Television Youth Achievement Award. She earned a BA in physics from Brandeis University in 1995. She attended the International Space University in France. In 1998, she earned her master’s degree in Space Science. She went to the University of Western Ontario for a master’s in astronomy, but had to leave the program after she was hit by a car while riding her bike.
She began her scientific career. Work has took her to the NASA Ames Research Center, the Canadian Space Agency, The Planetary Society, and the California Institute of Technology. In 2003, she began working as Solar System and Technology Education and Public Outreach Specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has organized a Saturn essay contest for middle school and high school students and published her work in several notable publications. She has worked on Radioisotope Power System Public Engagement and education for the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan. She leads teacher professional development at the National Science Teachers Association and California Science Teachers Association annual conferences. She has, also, spent years as president of Science Education for Students with Disabilities.
Honors, awards, work, and more continue to unfold in Rachel’s story. Be inspired! Have a bright day!