Is the latest engineering toy for girls an important development or more gender stereotyping?
A new toy has been revealed that's designed to get girls interested in engineering. But is it an important step forward or is the design just more gender stereotyping?
GoldieBlox is designed by Debbie Sterling, a US engineer, who wants to inspire girls to be interested in the overwhelmingly male-dominated profession of engineering, reports The Guardian.
"The scary truth is that only 11% of engineers are women and girls start losing interest in science as young as age eight,” Debbie writes on the website for the project.
“It’s time to motivate our girls to help build our future,” she adds.
Aimed at girls between 5 and 9 years old GoldieBlox includes a story book and a construction kit. Goldie faces a series of engineering challenges, and is helped along the way by Nacho the dog, Benjamin Cranklin the cat, Katinka the blue dolphin, Phil the sloth, and Flavio the bear.
Debbie spent a year researching how to get girls interested in construction and building.
“It all came down to one thing; boys like building and girls like reading,” she said. “So I thought, what if I put those two things together.”
The prototype set features soft textures, curved edges and a colour palatte of pink, yellow and blue, all qualities Debbie said are “innately appealing to girls.”
The design of GoldieBlox, however, once again raises the debate about gender specific toys.
Toy retailers have responded to the debate, taking action by changing the layout of their stores. Earlier this year Harrods’ made their toy department less gender specific, and last December Hamleys decided to remove it’s boy and girl signposts.
Do you think GoldieBlox would encourage your little girl to take in interest in construction?
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