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Black Friday Note: 6-year-old girl stands up for anti-sexism in toys, plus some fun STEM-inspired gift ideas

November 23, 2012

This story came to me via the website/campaign in association with the independent film “Miss Representation”.

Summary: Despite the toy makers attempts to explain away the fact that there are only 5 female characters in their game , compared to 19 boys (they explain that they are looking at what people have in common rather than what is different), the girl and her mother persisted to explain that *still* was not fair.  Check out the full story here, where you can read the actual e-mail exchange.

You can also learn more about the Miss Representation campaign called “Not buying it”, which was implemented to help people voice their concerns with advertisements that misrepresent or demean women.

I remember noticing the lack of female characters when playing this same game (Guess Who?) as a child, but I did not do anything this proactive about it ;)However, I did just come across these very cool spatial-skills-building toy, and noticed that all of the ads have boys in them (see screen shot below).  On further googling, I was glad to see there were other sites with plenty of pictures of girls building with the toy as well.  However, I might still send a quick e-mail to the original website… girls need to learn spatial skills too!

woodmobiel image

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STEM-Inspired Gifts

  • As holiday shopping gets underway, I thought I would also add a note about STEM-related presents, for kids and adults, and especially those that might inspire youngsters to pursue science.
  • I listed a few I have come across but I would love to see your favorites.

—Toys:—

Lego Friends – a topic of a previous post on this blog

Engineering toy and storybook for Girls – This is a neat startup company I heard about recently.  You can view a video from the creator, a young female engineer.

Copernicus toys – specifically the solar system memory game :)

—Books:—

Discussion of favorite solar system books (a previous post on this blog)

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh (kids book)

Marie Curie and Her Daughters by Shelley Emling (adult book)

—Other:—

A telescope – many buying guides online

Membership to the Planetary Society (great for kids and adults)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. sutari permalink
    December 21, 2012 6:49 am

    Did you hear about the girl who got 40,000 on-line signatures to her petition and has gotten Hasbro to produce a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven. She wanted to give her brother one, but there was NO WAY he would bake with pink or purple!

  2. sutari permalink
    November 30, 2012 10:32 am

    some do it right! Check out http://www.engineeringforkids.net/ This is an organization, founded by a female engineer, that does after school and weekend classes on engineering topics. Both my girls have gone. Their home page currently has 4 pictures scrolling: 4 girls; one boy, a girl and a boy; two of each. I think the classes they took even had a mix of young women and young men teaching. The pictures are a little white though…

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