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New toy designed to inspire girls to become engineers

It’s no secret that there is a severe lack of women in UK engineering jobs. Recent research from the IET showed that just 6% of the engineering workforce in 2012 was female.  Currently there are a number of initiatives aiming to encourage more women into STEM careers, including WISE and the IEEE. But this particular new initiative is particularly exciting…

GoldieBlox, an engineering-based toy with an accompanying book that teaches girls how to build with simple tools, is the invention of Stanford Engineering graduate Debbie Sterling.  Debbie created GoldieBlox to inspire girls the way Lego sets have inspired boys for over 100 years, to develop an early interest and skill set in engineering.

“Research shows that the earlier kids get interested in maths and science, the more likely they are to go into those fields as adults” the makers of GoldieBlox claim “Unfortunately, girls are losing interest in maths and science as young as age 8. Take a walk through a toy store and you can begin to see why; the ‘blue aisle’ is filled with construction toys and chemistry sets, while the ‘pink aisle’ is filled with princesses and dolls. It’s time we have girls more options.”

The toy is designed to not only engage girls with a story, but to challenge them to solve problems by building  with a variety of materials, all presented in colours that young girls tend to be attracted to. The idea is that as the story unfolds, Goldie builds a number of devises to accomplish certain tasks – the first of which being a spinning machine.

In putting a girls’ engineering toy on the market, the creators of GoldBlox are giving parents the much needed opportunity to tell their daughters that they can  be “little engineers”, and they don’t have to be any less girly to be excited about designing and building.

We think this is a great idea and can’t wait for GoldieBlox to be made available in the UK! Do you think giving such toys to children can really alter their mindset for their future careers? Or do you think that other factors will still get in the way? Let us know in the comments below…

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