Yesterday, I wrote on the struggles that I and other parents face with getting our boys to get into books and to develop their verbal, oral and written comprehension and composition skills (which girls are traditionally better at).
Today, the focus turns to getting girls to excel in science, technology, engineering and math subjects that they traditionally do not do well in, neither major in when they get to college. Only 20% of STEM degrees are awarded to girls in the United States.
By now, you may have seen the catch and creative viral video, “The Princess Machine” advertising the creative innovative new “Odyssey of the Mind” science and math exploration game and toy by Goldie Blox, if not check it out here:
After my 5-year old saw the commercial, she was all like, “I don’t like it. I LOVE it! Neat-O!”
She has since added it to her Santa/Christmas wish list. Her brothers thought it was pretty cool, but as Goldie Blox creator Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineer said in her Kickstarter campaign video, boys are traditionally geared towards toys that are made to develop their building and math skills. Sterling eventually went on to raise over $285,000 last year in 2012 over the course of 30 days. Goldie Blox has been featured in numerous publications such as The Atlantic and Forbes.
Sterling said in a recent TED presentation that science and math tests for girls around the globe show girls excel moreso than boys globally, proving that it isn’t a genetic predisposition but that our US culture push girls here to be princesses and it starts in the toy aisle.
My boys have always had blocks, race tracks including zero gravity ones, dump trucks and Kinex and other toys that subconsciously, overtly and covertly teach them about spatial differences, patterns, cause and effect, all knowledge that are the building blocks of understanding science, math and technology.
Lucky for my husband and I, we have a rough and tumble girl who loves to play with her brothers and their toy construction trucks and blocks and doing so even while wearing a pink accented tutu!
and has even taken to the online building computer game Minecraft and to exploring the world of gaming herself, so at least there’s that.
|My daughter loves to hover over and give tips to random boys she sees playing Minecraft in the local library.|
And again, there is nothing wrong with pink, pretty and princesses things, frills and dolls, but girls are more than that and should be empowered to also consider math, and building toys as well!