Don’t call her a nerd. Don’t call her a tomboy. Don’t try to fit Goldie Blox into a box, because she’ll engineer a way out of any and all constraints that try to tell her who she is. Goldie knows a thing or two about the way things work, and she’s here to teach girls that their potential doesn’t always have to be topped with a tiara.
GoldieBlox is a new toy aimed at teaching the basics of engineering to young girls who might otherwise not get the chance to enter the typically male-dominated field. As the evolving global economy pushes math and science to the forefront of the job market, it’s more important than ever not to leave girls behind. Fresh off the factory floor, GoldieBlox bridges that gender gap with incredible ingenuity and a flair of panache.
It’s not all smoke and mirrors. The toy was created by Debbie Sterling, a real-life Goldie Blox who knows the struggles of being a female engineer all too well. Debbie started out like so many girls do, completely unaware of the world of engineering.
“I only knew engineering even existed because my math teacher from high school said I should explore it,” she says in the company’s press packet. “I’m creating a toy company that teaches little girls what engineering is, making it fun and accessible. I’m making sure that girls don’t have to rely on a serendipitous comment from a teacher to realize their passion for engineering.”
Sterling launched a Kickstarter campaign last fall, and raised more than $285,000 for the project–nearly twice her goal. The end result is GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine, the first in an expanding line of GoldieBlox toys.
In her debut toy, Goldie is building a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail. Her friends, which include a sloth, a dolphin in a tutu, and a bear in a suit and tie, all join in the fun, working together to build a massive belt drive to spin everyone around. The drive is built on a pegboard with a series of axles, blocks, washers and wheels, all connected with a long, pink ribbon and turned with a crank.
The open-ended nature of GoldieBlox allows room for creativity and innovation. Instead of an instruction manual, the box comes with a story book; an effort to focus on verbal skills and engagement. But the stories are almost just a recommendation themselves. The real idea is to get girls to think in creative and unique ways–something more than the standard princess fare.
While it is at its heart an engineering toy, GoldieBlox leaves the purpose of play up to the child. You can engineer all kinds of spinning machines, but you can also set a stage for any number of stories. On their Facebook page, the company connected two pegboards with axles to make a jail for Goldie’s friends, who they said were “stuck in customs.”
The hope, on a much larger scale, is to eventually level out the playing field in the world of engineering, an occupation that is presently 87 percent male. Goldie Blox has a lot on her plate, but she’s ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work. And she’s hoping young girls everywhere will trade in their tiaras to help.
We just got a whole shipment of GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine at Kazoodles yesterday, so stop by and pick one up before they’re gone!