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Grace Hopper: The US Navy Admiral Who Planted A “Bug” In The Ears Of Young Women Everywhere…YOU Can Do It!

by | Feb 3, 2015 | RE@L StudentCorner

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While historically men have dominated the computer profession, there are today many, talented exceptions to that old rule. Many more women today are taking science and mathematics courses, some majoring in computer sciences, others pushing the knowledge boundaries of computer gaming, augmented reality, and other areas of computer study so sophisticated and new they don’t yet have names.

Commodore_Grace_M._Hopper,_USN_(covered)Grace Hopper, USN Retired, was one of them, and far, far ahead of her time. Admiral Grace Hopper died back in 1992, at the age of 86, after a long and brilliant career in the military programming computers to solve analytical, complex problems.This woman, who coined the word “bug” to describe a computer problem, also created the word “debug” to describe her own ingenious ways to fix these bugs.


The story of her career is so incredible it bears watching by all. Here’s the video on her career: It’s called “The Queen of Code:”  Click on the photo of President Reagan honoring Adm. Hopper to view it.

Yes, it’s 16 minutes long, but it’s worth every minute of your time. Especially if you are a young girl or woman stlll in school and thinking about a career, and what possibilities might lie ahead for you to choose.

If you don’t have the time to view it now, bookmark it for later. You won’t regret it! If you have children, watch it with them.

Let Grace tell you in her own words: “The greatest natural resource in this country is our young people.” And that includes young women. As one young woman in the video says, “If she (Grace) did it, it’s definitely possible for me to do it.” We never know what’s possible unless we try.

GraceGrace Hopper, over 50 years ago, invented the first programming language for computers. It was known as COBOL. It’s still in use today. She solved complex problems so quickly she was known to her colleagues as “Amazing Grace.” Grace became a spokesperson for encouraging women to choose careers that were formerly taken only by men.

220px-Grace_Hopper_and_UNIVACThe US Navy was one such workplace. If you look at our Armed Services today you can’t help but see the integration of women into all branches of military service, from programming computers, to landing jets on an aircraft carrier at night in a rolling sea.

This story about Grace Hopper is one that calls girls and boys, women and men, to use their talents to the fullest… one of the armed services used to say, “to become all we can be.”

What a legacy this woman left us. We hope all you young women out there will dream your own dreams about what’s possible. Then, make it happen. Young men, too.


Randy Nelson & Dale LaFrenz


/// Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L, Inc and one of the founders of MECC, Inc - the Minnesota company that brought “Oregon Trail” and more than a hundred products to millions of K12 students across the world. HIs RE@L Inc continues to serve K12 as a LearningProduct "launching pad" for schools, online learning and the rapidly growing STEM market. /// Randy Nelson recently joined RE@L as a BlogMeister and Director of Education for RE@L's new STEM-based LearningProducts. Randy has long been an advocate for more positive, effective changes in K-12 teaching and learning, from his teaching days to his former career as a Superintendent who positively reformed the school district of LaCrosse Wisconsin.w