Friday, August 30, 2013

Goldie Blox Makes Engineering Accessible for Girls

During her time at Stanford, Debbie Sterling, an engineering student, couldn't help but notice that she and her female peers were vastly outnumbered. Most other women just didn't seem to be interested in engineering, and her classes were dominated by men. Out in the workplace, the statistics were equally grim: Sterling learned that 89% of engineering positions were held by men. Sterling had a hunch that capturing girls’ interest in building through toys that develop spatial skills might lead more girls to become interested in technical fields down the road. She began to do some research and discovered that while boys tend to demonstrate an interest in building things, girls tend to like books and stories. Sterling decided to combine the two ideas, and Goldie Blox was born.

Each Goldie Blox set contains a toolkit and a book starring Goldie, a girl who loves to build. Girls read the book and build along with Goldie as she strives to build a simple machine to help her dog Nacho, who loves to chase his tail. From this basic idea, Goldie (followed by her avid reader) expands on the machine until all of Goldie’s friends are in on the action, too. The story prompts girls to experiment with the included crank and axles as they work to build a belt drive, all brought to life by the fun, zany plot in the book.

Goldie Blox

This Parents’ Choice Award-winning toy, best for girls ages six and up, is available in stores or from the Goldie Blox website. The concept is new and so far there is only one set available, but with publications like The Atlantic, NBC, Forbes, Time, Wired, Parenting, and The Huffington Post covering Goldie, it seems reasonable to look for sequels in which Goldie will put her engineering mind to work in other adventures.

You go, girls!

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