Did you know? Statistics show that girls begin to lose interest in math and science as early as age eight. That only 11 % of engineers in the United States are women?
What’s a little girl to do, especially if she shows an interest in building things or she loves math?
Goldie Can. San Francisco, CA-based GoldieBlox Inc. is toy company with a mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers. Founded by 29-year-old Stanford engineer Debbie Sterling, the company makes a series of interactive books + construction toys starring Goldie, a curious girl with a love of engineering. Goldie’s stories encourage girls to build, developing the spatial skills that are fundamental to engineering.
Growing up, I was always intimidated by the word, ‘engineering.’ I thought it was just for boys. I’m creating GoldieBlox so that girls, from a young age, can learn that engineering is for them, too.
Debbie and the GoldieBlox team raised over a quarter million dollars during a 30-day campaign on popular crowd sourcing platform Kickstarter and started production on the first book+toy –along with garnering some healthy publicity; both the company and the fundraiser received rave reviews from publications like The Atlantic and Forbes to blogs from Upworthy to Fast Company. Since then, the first interactive book+construction toy series was launched in September. GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine combines storytelling and building in a novel approach to engage girls aged five through nine in play with construction toys. Not only this – it won Editor’s Choice at the World Maker Faire in New York almost immediately!
Using over a year’s worth of research, the GoldieBlox prototype was tested with over 100 children. As the creative force behind GoldieBlox, Debbie studied engineering and product design at Stanford. She writes and illustrates Goldie’s stories, taking inspiration from her grandmother, one of the first female cartoonists and creator of “Mr. Magoo” (I totally loved Mr. Magoo when I was young!). Debbie also gets the power of branding, having previously served as a brand strategy consultant for a wide variety of organizations including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Organic Valley and the New York Knicks.
The first book+toy in the series retails for $30, and will be available as e-book downloads for iPad and iPhone with narration and animation to enhance the building experience. The pre-order delivery for February, 2013 sold out in less than a month; the company is currently taking orders for the second delivery in April, 2013 through GoldieBlox.com.