Toys for girls

>> Thursday, September 20, 2012

A link from Freakonomics brought me here, and article about Bettina Chen, Jennifer Kessler and Alice Brooks who founded Stanford startup Maykah, which develops toys that encourage young girls to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

From the article:

Now at Stanford University, the three women have teamed up to form Maykah, a startup aiming to create toys that encourage young girls to study science, technology, engineering and math. Their first toy is Roominate, a dollhouse for girls to build, from decorating it with wallpaper to installing the circuits that power the lights, fans and door buzzer.
All three founders trace their passion for technology back to their childhood playthings. Brooks said she asked her dad for a Barbie, only to receive a saw, which she used to make a dollhouse. Chen built elaborate Lego creations with her older brother. Kessler grew up playing Mastermind with her dad. They hope that Roominate will offer the same kind of inspiration.
"There are lots of great toys on the market," Kessler said. "But we don't see the toys that inspired us when we were young."

And a couple of quotes that I like:

"We think it's so important to reach girls early on, when they're still exploring and thinking about who they want to be when they grow up," Kekelis said.
"We want young girls to see every career, every discipline as an option," Kessler said. "We want all girls to have an excitement for all subjects."
I went to their website and here's what the dollhouse (basic unit) with the circuit board looks like. Well, the circuit board is not visible here.

I love the idea! I've always wanted to invent toys that are both fun and educational at the same time :)


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