Way back in the dark ages when I was earning a degree in chemistry, I was one of the few females in my chemistry, physics, and math classes. I’m sad to report things haven’t changed much in the intervening years, since “only 15% of female first-year college students intend to major in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).” Three women with degrees from the California Institute of Technology, MIT, and Stanford have designed a toy for girls ages 6-10 “based on the belief that childhood exposure can facilitate excitement, familiarity, and confidence between young girls and STEM”. Roominate “is a stackable, attachable & customizable miniature room with working circuits that you build yourself.” Using only rudimentary prototypes, playing with Roominate has sparked great excitement and interest in girls as they’ve designed and built a variety of rooms, including little pet stores and restaurants, with working circuits. Roominate started as a Kickstarter project that was funded at more than 300% of their goal just a few days ago. You can go to the Roominate page to sign up on the waiting list if you’d like to inspire an interest in math and the sciences in a little girl you know.
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