Monday, 22 April 2013

Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine - Engineering for Girls

I've been following Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine since it first popped up on Kickstarter and now it's available for anyone to buy I thought we'd take a look at it. This is an educational play set that offers girls a toy that introduces them to engineering without feeling like they are playing with a boys toy.



This makes a lot of sense. When I was a girl I was given dolls rather than construction toys simply because that was the default. I think the same can happen today and of course girls now are very aware of girls things vs boys things. You can argue about whether this should be the case and how we can change society and that's a valid thing to do. Meanwhile, Goldie Blox seems like a sensible approach to getting girls playing with machines and having some insight into whether engineering or a related field might be interesting to them.  

The set comes with a story book that girls can follow along with and make the machines that Goldie Blox makes. You get components including a peg board, reels, axles, a hand crank and a driving ribbon.

The real difference between this set and some of the machine kits that are more boy-oriented are the five toy figures that you get with the set and who appear in the story. I can see how this is engaging for girls (and a lot of boys too.)

The woman behind Goldie Blox is Debbie Sterling, a Stanford engineer. Here she is talking about Golide Blox and how she came up with the idea and how it works (note that the Kickstarter project she mentioned was successful and the toy is now in production.)


I've ordered a set and will do a review once it arrives and we've had chance to play with it (I have a niece in the right age range and I'll also be interested to see the reaction of my two boys.)

Update: Here's the review


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