Just in time for the holidays, a hot toy start-up is gaining traction for its building games, which expose girls to engineering. Forget ironing boards, pink tea sets and variations on becoming a princess. If company founder Debbie Sterling gets her way, more girls will embrace toys that instill problem solving skills at an early age. The holy grail: Encouraging more girls to pursue science-based careers.
"We just want girls to be able to use their brains a little more," said Sterling, founder of Oakland, Calif.-based GoldieBlox.
This week, the company launched the "Princess Machine," an online video that showcases three bad-ass girls, striking back against dolls and pink princesses. Using actual GoldieBlox toys, the girls (toy users) turn a home into a clever Rube Goldberg-like machine. Starting with a turntable and music box, the trio launches a domino-effect maze of moving balls, levers and pulleys. Part social commentary on what traditionally has been available in girls' toy aisles, the video showcases a pink mixing bowl, rolling pin, tea set, doll and pink boa. The video then subverts those objects for a message on why America isn't grooming enough female engineers.
The sassy lyrics—set to a re-purposed Beastie Boys song "Girls"—tell the rest of the story.
"We are all more than princess maids!" the song goes.
"Girls to build the spaceship,
Girls to code the new app,
Girls to grow up knowing
they can engineer that."
"We don't have a national shortage of princesses," CEO Sterling said in a recent video. "But we do have a national shortage of engineers."