Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More than Just a Princess

I have been following this company, GoldieBlox, on and off over the last year because they were trying to launch a building toy that would inspire girls to be interested in STEM.  They had a very successful kickstarter campaign and now are one of four finalists trying this month to win a SUPER BOWL ad.  Do you want to help them??  Vote in the competition this month.  Thanks to Marjan who saw this video and just sent it to me.  For anyone who knows a creative kid (and all kids are creative... it just gets beaten out of them!) it is so hard to find good Christmas gifts.

The awful statistic that I heard at a conference a few years ago was that if a girl wasn't inspired to get involved in science, technology or engineering by the time she was 12, she had less than a 15% chance of having a career in any of those fields.  Since that is the dominant growth area of our economy, that is a horrible stat.  I don't have a little girl of my own to mentor, much to my dismay, but I do have a little spitfire on my lego team now.  We call her "Rambet" and she is adorable and can handle a robot and nerf gun as well as her own with 10 boys.  Love to adopt her!  In the Fall I mentor these robot groups and in the Spring, I help a group at MIT develop curriculum to teach electrical engineering to girls in summer camps.  So I am always keeping my eyes open to watch how others are presenting our 21st century skills to a new generation of kids.  (Somewhere in there I try to teach women to make embroidered caskets).

Watch these two videos and realize that engineering is just problem solving and doesn't have to mean 'dark blue and metal toys' to be fun.  Then think of the little girls in your life that deserve the Friends line of Lego, GoldieBlox, Makedo, or a real toolbelt of their own.  (I just bought a GoldieBlox set for my 5-year old goddaughter who thinks I am too cool - her Dad went to MIT with me.  She is the middle kid and the one I have pegged to follow in his footsteps).

I think that these commercials are just inspired and really hope to see one of them during the Super Bowl!  And honestly - you need to show them to a little girl you know - she will run out and get boxes and make something after getting all pumped up from the videos!

AKA the embroidering engineer -  who says you can't like pink and thread and yet be an engineer!


  1. When my girls were young, my mother-in-law was upset because they preferred to play with trucks and trains and didn't care for dolls.My older one has a masters in geotechnical engineering and was in charge of earth quake and tsunami programs for the California emergency management agency.My younger daughter has a degree in mechanical engineering. I never encouraged them per se, just followed and enabled what ever they were interested in.

  2. It warms my heart to see there is a powerful future for little girls who like to make stuff. Back in the bad old days of the mid 20th century, the school would not allow me to take shop or drafting - in spite of my aptitude scores...and my protests did no good back in those days. So after aceing Home-ec and majoring in Art, I went on to become a dental technician (the one who makes the false teeth) until my hands gave out. I'm so glad that 'the powers that be' are finally 'getting it' that many, many children who want to make things! And they are not little boys! Girl Power Forever!!!

  3. I have a 15 year old granddaughter who learned to weld, made her own trebuchet and competed in the recent Punkin Chunkin competition. Next year it will be bigger and better, I am sure.