This is an excerpt from a post by SparkFun Director of Education Lindsay Levkoff. To read the full article, head to SparkFun’s education page.
GoldieBlox should be a total win for someone like me. I am a 32 year-old female with a doctorate in a scientific field. I grew up with a single mother who mercilessly coached me on growing up to be an independent and successful woman. I’ve been in plenty of those situations where you don’t see a lot of other females, like being the only little girl on a Little League tee ball team. Now I am the Director of Education at an electronics company where I work with a fantastic team dedicated to providing accessible and affordable technology and materials to all students. As you can probably imagine, getting young women interested in becoming scientists and engineers is a given.
When I first learned about GoldieBlox through their Kickstarter campaign I supported it just on principle – how could I not? Unfortunately, when I received the kit I felt deeply disappointed but I was a bit afraid to come out and say that. How could I possibly say that I think this brand new toy designed by a female engineer that was going to take over the pink aisles of the toy stores was totally underwhelming? First of all, aside from the picture of Goldie on the box and in the book, you are playing with five animals and the gender breakdown of the characters looks like 4:1 male to female. Is this the best you could do? Second, who cares if girls like pink and purple? This goes for young boys as well by the way. Most of the time my hair has pink or purple dye in it and a great role model for future female engineers, Limor Fried, rocks a full head of hot pink hair. Color is not the issue. I hear the new toy has something to do with a pageant. Seriously?