At first I cheered when I saw this advertisement for Goldie Blox:
but then I thought a little harder about it and realized it’s a cute ad, with some cute girls … who had little to do with actually constructing that Rube Goldberg-esque contraption featured in the ad.
While I’m pleased that there’s a line of toys out there geared towards girls that aren’t into pink princess-y nonsense, the cynical side of me sees a rather blatant opportunity to capitalize on families concerned about their daughters’ opportunities to pursue careers in math and science. Because, it’s not about the toys. After all, my science education truly began when I designed parachutes to launch Barbie dolls off the roof of my best friend’s house. And my daughter never needed specially designed toys to create her own Rube Goldberg contraption:
This is just one teensy example. There are some incredible examples of girls doing science (just visit 11-year-old Sylvia of Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Mini Maker Show or Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao, teenagers who have identified a bacteria that breaks down plastics). The point being, there are plenty of girls out there doing some amazing things … and they don’t need specially designed toys to help them do those amazing things. And they don’t need advertising professionals to pose them as engineer princesses. We just need to get out of their way.
And let them make a mess of the basement every once in a while.