We have posted before about the challenges facing the engineering sector in attracting candidates – particularly among women. But how can this trend be reversed? One recent answer to this question may be surprising to some: children’s toys.
Stanford Engineering graduate Debbie Sterling is the inventor of a new construction toy that’s designed to inspire more girls to become engineers. “Goldie Blox”, the funding for which was raised on Kickstarter, has certainly created a lot of discussion – but can giving such toys to children really alter their future careers?
“Research shows that the earlier kids get interested in math and science, the more likely they are to go into those fields as adults,” according to Goldie Blox publicity. “Unfortunately, girls are losing interest in math and science as young as age 8. Take a walk through a toy store and you can begin to see why; the ‘blue aisle’; is filled with construction toys and chemistry sets, while the ‘pink aisle’ is filled with princesses and dolls.”
While Goldie Blox has definitely been designed to fit into the “pink aisle” (risking the kind of controversy that greeted Lego Friends – the ‘pink Lego’ of 2012 that attempted to win girls over), it also takes its cue from scientific perspectives on childhood play. Goldie Blox taps into girls’ developmental strengths – their verbal skills, particularly – to help get them more interested in building and design. Continue reading “Child’s play: what’s the link between toys and careers?” »