Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Move over Barbie™, there’s a new superstar in town! Her name is GoldieBlox™!
Designed “for girls who are thinkers that tinker”, the GoldieBlox™ construction story kits are designed to teach engineering and building concepts (i.e. spatial skills) to young girls (7+ years) while banking on girls’ strong verbal and story building skills.
In a world where only 14% of the engineers are women, this toy and its creator, Debbie Sterling, herself a Stanford Mechanical Engineering graduate, are out on a mission! The mission is none other than to level the playing field in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Beginning with “disrupting the pink aisle”, that is, making waves in those sections of toy stores dedicated to princesses and fairies for little little girls, the idea is that little girls might also be introduced to engineering and building at a very early age, so they may learn to love this activity as much as Debbie.
The rest is history!...It took 6 months for Goldieblox™ to sell nationwide at ToyRus! GoldieBlox™ has also won some impressive toy awards: The 2013 Parents Choice Award (Gold Award), two 2014 Toy of the Year Awards (in the People’s Choice & Educational Toy categories) and a place in the 2014 list of Best of Apple Apps. GoldieBlox™ also has 250,000+ followers on Facebook, 20 million + YouTube views, 15 million TV viewers, and 4 billion Media impressions! Hip, hip, hooray for GoldieBlox™!
The GoldieBlox story-construction kits offer a narrative playworld of characters at Bloxtown: Goldie Blox, nicknamed “G”, a mechanical engineer and inventor; Ruby Rails, nicknamed “Rubes”, a software engineer “who lives life by her code” and designs her own clothes with a program called “Dress Code”; Li Gravity, a guy nicknamed “Heights”, who loves physics and who is Goldie’s lifelong friend and neighbor; Valentina Voltz, nicknamed “Val” or “vv”, who loves gadgets and works with circuits and electricity; and a cast of 4 little creatures: Nacho (the pooch), Benjamin Cranklin (the cat), Lucky (the fish), and Katinka (the pink dolphin). Thus, for example, you will find a construction story kit called “Nacho’s cat nook” where Goldie Blox sets out to build a multi-story cat nook, with an elevator, to cheer up Benjamin Cranklin, the grumpy cat! The lever engineering principle is at work in this construction story kit and the 40 parts it contains are all designed to develop fine motor skill, problem-solving and spatial skills!
The invention of these construction story kits is disclosed in US2014199677 (A1) ― 2014-07-17, titled Modular multi-element constructions from rearrangeable pieces and kits allowing construction of same.
Board-based machines assembled from components including crank and winch attributes which allow for coupling between the components, and which allows the user to position various elements into desired positions. A kit of components including coupling attributes which allow for assembly into a large number of different types of machines and structures of different types and shapes. A book adapted to teach children about mechanical aspects of design in concert with a kit of components adapted to be used to create board based machines. [Abstract US2014199677]
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