Apps, Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Parenting, Student Products, Teaching Tools

Goldieblox and the Movie Machine App

You may already be familiar with Goldieblox toys.  I’ve featured a couple of them on this blog.  I recently visited their site, and they’ve added quite a few more products to their selection – all with the aim of getting children, especially girls, interested in engineering.  One of the kits available for purchase is “Goldieblox and the Movie Machine“, which includes pieces and directions for creating a zoetrope.  The company has released a free app to complement this product, but you don’t need to purchase the kit to get a lot of fun out of the app.

screen shot from GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app
screen shot from GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app

Our Maker Club has transitioned from making cardboard games to making movies, and one of the apps the students explored last week was Goldieblox and the Movie Machine.  They quickly figured out what they needed to do to create their own short animations, and they were too busy having fun to ask for help from me.  The club is still testing out different options for movie creation, so we haven’t worked our way up to making final products, but I think this app will definitely be a contender for most popular movie-making tool (along with the Lego Movie Maker app).

If you do happen to have the actual kit, then you can use the app to print out your drawings to put in the zoetrope.  However, this is certainly not mandatory, as you can watch your video play on the iPad just as easily.

I definitely recommend that you add this to the list of apps from which students can select for sharing their learning.  They could, for example, make a video of the life cycle of a butterfly or portray how a character changed in a novel.  I’m sure you can think of many more ways to integrate it with academics!

Careers, Critical Thinking, Education, K-12, Math, Research, Science, Teaching Tools, Videos

This is Your Brain on Engineering

image from: GoldieBlox - "This is Your Brain on Engineering"
image from: GoldieBlox – “This is Your Brain on Engineering”

GoldieBlox, the company devoted to encourage more females to develop interest in STEM, has had its controversies.  But I think they’ve done an excellent job with their latest PSA, a video that parodies the “This is Your Brain on Drugs” campaign.  The ad creatively shows the use of its toys to highlight the entertainment value of engineering and design.  However, it also sprinkles in some sobering facts about the relatively low participation of our gender in engineering careers.  I like that GoldieBlox offers explanations, resources, and links about each of these facts on its site.

For more information on STEM resources for girls, you might want to visit my recent post on Women Role Models, or this one that gives several links to books, games, and sites.

Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, K-5, Math, Parenting, Science, Teaching Tools

GoldieBlox Now on Sale


Last November, I posted about a new toy that was expected on the market this April.  I just received an announcement from Fat Brain Toys that they have GoldieBlox in stock now for $29.99.

In case you don’t remember, GoldieBlox is the creation of Stanford graduate, Debbie Sterling.  She intends to produce a series of these toys that are designed to encourage young girls to engage in engineering.  The first kit of the series, GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine, includes a book and a project kit.  The minimum recommended age is 6 years old.

In my first post on GoldieBlox, I mentioned my discouragement in finding so many online toys that were labeled with traditional gender roles.  I applaud Debbie Sterling’s attempt to even the playing field by creating an engineering toy that may have more appeal for girls, but I still hope for a near future when there is no distinction.  That being said, this looks like an interesting educational toy, and I would love to get feedback from anyone who uses it with students or their own children.