When I was a little girl, I was raised that little girls did “girl things” like play with baby dolls and Barbie dolls. Boys played with Legos and Lincoln logs. Girls were pretty and boys were dirty. Boys got to have all the fun while all I got to do was chores and play with toys that taught me how to be a “young lady“. Enter easy bake ovens, play houses, baby dolls who cried and needed their diapers changed. But it doesn’t have to be that way and I’ve partnered with GoldieBlox to change that.
When I tried to climb trees or build forts, I was promptly told that those things were not very “ladylike.” It’s damn hard to climb trees in skirts. Don’t get me wrong; I loved doing all those things but maybe I would have liked to play with the Legos or built something with Lincoln logs? The point is this; I didn’t even know what an Engineer did until I was in college at Purdue University…dating an Engineer. So how could I have ever chosen to be an engineer when no one thought it was worth the bother to teach little girls to be anything more than princesses, mothers and maids until now. Enter GoldieBlox.
We live in a world where men grossly outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8, GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys”. By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, GoldieBlox disrupts the pink aisle and inspires the future generation of female engineers.
Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University, was always bothered by how few women are in the engineering field. The numbers are definitely skewed in the engineering field. So, Debbie did something about it. She started a toy company in 2012 called GoldieBlox to get little girls to love engineering as much as she does.
The mission of GoldieBlox is to create fun toys that develop spatial skills and teach basic engineering principles. Girls like to read and boys like to build. Put spatial plus verbal together, story and construction and that’s how GoldieBlox was born. GoldieBlox is a book and a construction toy combined, starring Goldie the girl inventor and her motley crew of friends who go on adventures and solve problems by building simple machines. As girls read along they get to build what Goldie builds using their own tool kit. At the beginning of every GoldieBlox story, they introduce some basic engineering vocabulary with a basic “Bill of Materials.” The pieces you get with GoldieBlox are based on the Seven Simple Machines (wheel and axis, lever, pulley, etc.) These are the basic building blocks of every physical thing. Once you learn these simple machines, you can’t see your world the same way again, because you understand how things are built.
No longer are we teaching our girls that they have to stand by looking pretty while fetching cold drinks for the man folks. Nope, we are teaching our girls that they can put on a pair of cute jeans and work-boots and go build it themselves. By designing construction toys from the female perspective, GoldieBlox will be more appealing to a broader audience of children and parents who previously considered engineering a job for boys. Engineers solve some of the biggest challenges our society faces. They are critical to the world economy, earn higher salaries and have greater job security. And they are 89% male. There’s more to girls than just pink and fluff. We can be anything we want to be in this world. We are bigger than the pink aisle. Our dreams and skills can’t be contained.
One of the most critical skills we can teach our girls is confidence and perseverance. By giving girls confidence and exposure to words, when they see and hear these words later in life, they won’t be as intimidated, because they will already understand the concepts!
GoldieBlox teaches girls not to give up. Goldie never gives up and always tries again at making something. I love that message and I saw it come to fruition when my own girls were playing with their Goldieblox and the Parade Float and the Dunk Tank. I also love watching the confidence they have in building new things, not just what the instructions say. Thanks to GoldieBlox both of my girls have began to ask if they can join the schools robotics team. My husband is an engineer so this thrills him. I know what a turning point this is in history, so it pleases me too.
I am also giving away a GoldieBlox Parade Float and one Dunk Tank toy to one lucky reader. Easy to enter, simply follow me on Instagram and leave me your instagram account name in the comments. Ends 7/29 at midnight. Open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
How do you get your girls to keep an interest in STEM?