I’ve spent my time on more than a few posts bemoaning the low numbers of females in the math, science, and engineering sectors – including programming. But I’ve been heartened, recently, by a few things that I’ve seen during my internet browsing. These are some great products and websites that are designed to encourage girls to shed the only-males-can-think-logically stereotype that has lingered for far too long in our culture.
Rosie Revere, Engineer is a delightful children’s book by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts. Rosie is a young maker in the making. She tinkers and creates, but gets discouraged by everyone’s attitude toward her inventions. Great-great Aunt Rose helps little Rosie get back on the path that leads to her dreams. This book is not just for girls. It encourages everyone to learn from your mistakes. Here is a link to a page of curriculum suggestions.
Engineer Girl is a website that is graphically appealing without overdoing pink and swirly. The site features interviews with female engineers, highlights careers in this field, and has a plethora of activities and links that are sure to satisfy the curiosity of any girl with even the slightest interest in S.T.E.M.
Goldie Blox is offering a new product for pre-sale (available in December) called “Goldie Blox and the Parade Float.” The sequel to “Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine“, this $19.99 set also includes a storybook with construction pieces and design ideas. Aimed toward 4-9 year olds, these toys are specifically designed by Stanford grad Debbie Sterling to “disrupt the pink aisle.”
Engineer Your Life is a website designed for high school girls. Like Engineer Girl, it offers biographies of female engineers and suggestions for how to get involved in a career in engineering.
Roominate has been featured on this blog before. Be sure to check out this great building toy that includes electrical circuits!
The PBS Design Squad Nation website is not aimed at girls, specifically. But it should engage any young student in the excitement of building and design. It has great resources for parents and educators, and is currently sponsoring a design challenge that must be submitted by Nov. 6, 2013.
The more exposure our young people, especially the girls, get to S.T.E.M., the more children will learn about the potential they have for pursuing careers in these fields. Not all of them will develop a passion for it, but certainly it will be more than the low numbers we currently see.