Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series


PostedSeptember 30, 2012

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lede: An entrepreneur concerned about the lack of women in engineering has decided to do something about the problem…through toys.

Randy Atkins: Her aim was to create a toy that inspires young girls to problem solve, learn about cause-and-effect, and build simple machines. But Debbie Sterling says research shows what naturally engages girls are words.

Debbie Sterling: I thought, OK if girls are strong in verbal and love reading stories, what if I wrote a story about a girl engineer who loves to build?

Randy Atkins: Then throw in a toy – yes, with ribbons and pink – for making a drive belt system.

Debbie Sterling: If the girls get into the story, the idea would be that they’d want to be like the main character and build what she builds.

Randy Atkins: The prototype – called GoldieBlox – went up on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter and blew past its dollar goal in the first five days.

Debbie Sterling: It’s so validating to see that parents want to inspire their daughters to get excited about things other than dolls and princesses and to explore engineering principles.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: Sterling’s first toy, for five to nine year-olds, goes into production soon.