The recent release of an ad for Goldieblox, the new toy for girls to inspire their inner-engineers, has stirred up some buzz in the toy aisles.
In the video, a group of little girls says no more to the old ways of pink and princess and put down their Barbies, nail their ballet slippers to skateboards and storm into a Toys “R” singing, “We Are The Champions.” Their mission: to get the new Goldieblox, the toy geared towards development of female engineers.
According to Take Part, Debbie Sterling is the brains behind the girls’ construction kit. Sterling, first founded the Oakland, California start up company last year after diving into the engineering world at Stanford University, which included interning with famous inventor David Kelley.
“I wanted to create a girl engineer role model,” said Sterling, according to CNBC. As a female engineer, Sterling felt cheated by the toys available to her as a child, for none had the capacity to teach building and creating skills like boys’ toys did.
After reminiscing about childhood toys at a brunch with friends to throw around ideas, Sterling strolled the isles of a toy store and realized how imbalanced they were.
“There was nothing for girls that used their brains. The boys section was full of chemistry kits,” Sterling said. With everything for boys blue and girls pink, Sterling explained, “I knew there was a huge gap in the marketplace.”
In hopes to provide that opportunity for girls today, and spark their interests in fields like engineering, turned to Kickstarter last year and raised her goal of $150,000 in only 4 days, going on to hit $285,000 with overwhelming support for her idea. After only months, the product received $1 million in pre-sale orders and by March 2013, Sterling had helped to officially ship the toys, at about a $30 retail price per Goldieblox. Now, they are released the toy in stores and she has aided in the start of battle for future STEM jobs that the little girls in the video advertisement seem to be waging.
The statistics need this type of inspiration, because today, in a room of 25 engineers, only three are women. Furthermore, women account for less than 18 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computer sciences and engineering, less than 28 percent of master’s degrees in these fields, and under 22 percent of related doctorate degrees, according to national education statistics discussed by the Kaufmann Foundation.
Sterling hopes that introduction of Goldieblox will counter these statistics and moreover provoke any type of interest in the skills these fields require such as spatial skills, building, and developing. More than 57 percent of young girls do not even consider working in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field when they grow up, and she hopes to push towards a change in that.