New toy encourages girls to become engineers

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toySTANFORD, CA – Girls, do you ever get tired of strolling your toy aisle and seeing nothing but a sea of pink? Well, Debbie Sterling did. She’s an engineer at Stanford University and was struck by the fact that despite making up half the world, women only make up about 11% of engineers.

So Debbie put together a Kickstarter campaign to promote a new toy called “Goldie Blox.” She describes it as “a book and construction toy combined. It stars Goldie, the girl inventor, and her motley crew of friends who go on adventures by building simple machines. As girls read along, they get to build what Goldie builds using their tool kit.”

Sounds pretty cool, don’t you think?  Someone sure did, because she reached her $150,000 goal four days into a month-long campaign. Toys R Us even agreed to stock her toys in their 600-plus stores.

Folks at one Houston-area store seem all for it. “It’s kinda opening the door to them to see what they would be getting into,” says mom Jhesenia Munoz, “or maybe discovering new challenges or things they would like but never thought about.”

Keosaj Jenkins is aunt to 9-year-old girl Dominica Watson. “Instead of the same old playing with Barbie dolls with clothes,” Jenkins explains, “I think it’s a great learning experience to read along and build as you go.” But her niece says the toy (geared to ages six and up) is “too little kid-ish” for her.

In her Kickstarter video, Sterling explains her reason for creating a girls’ construction toy is quite personal, “I didn’t even know what engineering was until I was a senior in high school, so to me Goldie Blox really is the toy that I wish I’d had growing up.”

If Goldie Blox becomes popular, we might find women not just inhabiting half the planet– they may start building half of it, too.