GoldieBlox Aims To Create A Generation of Girl Engineers!
Only 11% of engineers are female. A toy company called GoldieBlox, Inc. is trying to change that.
Debbie Sterling, an engineer from Stanford University, founded the GoldieBlox.
"I was always bothered by how few women were in my program," she says in a video explaining the new toy, "so I've decided to do something about it."
GoldieBlox provides an accessible way for young girls to become interested in engineering. The toys allow girls to play in a way that helps them develop their problem-solving skills and spatial abilities.
Toys like Legos and K'nex get kids interested early in engineering and science because they develop spatial skills, but parents often don't think to buy them for their little girls. These companies don't think past making their toys pink to make them appeal to girls.
"I've spent the last year researching this," Sterling says. "How do you get girls to like a construction toy? It all kind of came down to one simple thing. Boys like building. Girls like reading."
She came up with the simple idea of integrating building and reading by creating a book series to accompany her building set. The toy comes with a book that tells the story of Goldie Blox, a girl inventor, and her friends who build simple machines to solve problems.
The first book starts: "Have you met the girl named Goldie Blox? She likes to think outside the box."
The story also comes in iPad app form.
"As they read along, they get to build what Goldie builds using their tool kit," Sterling explains.GoldieBlox Aims To Create A Generation of Girl Engineers!
89% of engineers are men, which means roughly 89% of engineering problems are solved by men. A female perspective is necessary in that world, and GoldieBlox aims to prepare girls to meet that challenge.
"This means that GoldieBlox will nurture a generation of girls who are more confident, courageous and tech-savvy, giving them a real opportunity to contribute to the progress made by engineers in our society."
She wants little girls to love engineering as much as she does.
"It's 2013," Sterling says. "It's about time we opened our girls' minds beyond the pink aisle at the toy store. It's time to build a new story so our girls can help build our future."