Debbie Sterling, a Stanford-educated engineer and the CEO of Goldieblox, had a vision. Tired of seeing the same old princess schtick thrust upon girls, she set out to create a product that was different. And, because so many young ladies undoubtedly enjoy both reading and playing with their toys, Sterling developed the concept of a storybook integrated with a basic engineering set. Kids follow the tale, building simple machines with the provided tools as they go.
In the most recent advertisement for the company, a trio of girls bored with the princess show on television embark on a wild ride, constructing a complicated Rube Goldberg machine across the home. The adventure is also accompanied by a song about how girls are the future of engineering (to the tune of the Beastie Boys' "Girls").
Despite how much our culture has changed, our toy aisles haven't made similar strides. Even when briefly perusing your local retail store, you'll notice that one section is clearly designed for girls — all pink and dolls — while another is clearly created for boys — lots of K'NEX sets and action figures. And, though some department stores have been making moves to create toy spaces that are less overtly gendered, we've still got a long way to go. But, for now, let's all joyously partake in these three badass young ladies and their impossible invention. Here's to hoping that the future of science and engineering is a more equal space — and that it starts now.