You may have seen the above video making its way around your Facebook feed — if you haven’t — don’t you want to post it yourself? It’s SO AWESOME, which is exactly how I also describe the GoldieBlox line of toys AND their inspiring creator, Debbie Sterling. I had a chance to take a close-up look at a “GoldieBlox and the Parade Float” toy, and it is so cool — I can’t wait to send one to my little nieces!
When I was in about third grade, one of my favorite things to do was play with my best friend’s little brother’s Legos. He had a ton of those things, as I recall, and I had a blast building towns and spaceships and whatever else with him. I don’t know why, but I never had any Legos myself. Did I not think to ask for them? Were they just too much a “boy” toy? I’m not sure. And to be honest, I don’t think that if I had a set of Legos, I would have changed my career ambitions from actress to engineer. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that there was a whole world that I never really thought about, because I was a girl.
Indeed, I was a very girly girly — and so is my own daughter now. But being a “girly girl” just means we like things like playing dress-up. We love fairy tales, and tea parties, and my daughter loves her baby dolls (for me, it was stuffed animals). But that “girliness” is only one part of the picture. Being a girl — and being “girly” — doesn’t mean we can’t also be fascinated by how things work, or the alchemy involved in the cookies we bake, or, like my own daughter, love things that would be been considered for boys only when I was a kid, like playing the trumpet in band and watching Dr. Who.
That’s why I love that the GoldieBlox design and packaging doesn’t try to be totally “gender neutral.” Yes, it’s true that pretty much everything in the girl’s department is pink or purple — but guess what? A lot of girls like pink and purple. Not all of them do, of course! But a lot do. GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling did a fantastic job designing something that will appeal to a wide variety of kids, from those girls on the “girly girl” end of the spectrum, to, I dare say, little boys who love building things. The biggest selling point to me about the GoldieBlox toys is that they use the element of story and character to really engage young girls — all the while, helping them develop spatial skills, understand basic engineering principles and build self-confidence in problem solving. Essentially, GoldieBlox marries the story of Goldie, the girl inventor who loves to build, with a construction kit. So smart!
I had a great opportunity to participate in a Google Hangout with Debbie, and it was so fun to hear her talk about her inspiration for the line, and how much thought she put into the development of something that will really open up worlds to an entire generation of little girls.
Like so many girls, Debbie Sterling was born an engineer…she just didn’t know it. She’s working to inspire the next generation of female engineers and open the world of STEM to girls ages 5 and up. Watch this video to learn about the inspiration for GoldieBlox and the impact it’s making on girls and their families:
GoldieBlox launched on Kickstarter in the fall of 2012 with the goal of raising $150,000 to fund production. Within four days, the goal had been met. In 30 days, over 5,000 supporters had contributed more than $285,000. Less than a year later, GoldieBlox made its way from Kickstarter to the aisles of America’s largest toy retailer, Toys “R”Us. Debbie, herself an engineer, was inspired to create the line when she graduated from Stanford and realized that, currently, the field of engineering is 89% male. Engineering is behind SO MUCH of what we use in our lives on a daily basis, from the houses we live in and the cars we drive, to the the smart phones that keep us connected. And that’s of course just the daily stuff — think of all the inventions and creations that can help those in war-torn or poverty stricken areas of the world. As Debbie said in our Google Hangout, engineering goes into so much of what makes the world go ’round — shouldn’t at least half of engineers be women?
I’d like to see that world, wouldn’t you?
We have one “GoldieBlox and the Parade Float” toy to give away! To enter to win, just tell us in the comments below, how a GoldieBlox will inspire a young girl in your life!
About American Express #PassionProject:
Debbie is one of the newest members of #PassionProject, an American Express ® program designed to enable, inspire and encourage people to pursue their passion projects. With #PassionProject, American Express is supporting a new generation of makers, creators and mold-breakers tapping into vibrant web communities to identify the stories of men and women living their passions every day. Not only does American Express showcase these inspiring #PassionProjects, but Membership also enables their #PassionProject to take the next step forward thanks to the strength of the American Express network. To learn more about the members of #PassionProject and watch their stories visit, Youtube.com/user/AmericanExpress/MembershipDoes
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