Our Girls Need Goldie
My name is Debbie and I'm a Stanford engineer. When I was a little girl, I thought the word, "engineering" was nerdy and intimidating and just for boys. I've since learned I was so wrong. Engineers build all the important things we use every day...things that make our lives better. The scary truth is that only 11% of engineers are women and girls start losing interest in science as young as age 8! This is our chance to change that statistic.
I'm creating GoldieBlox to inspire girls the way Legos and Erector sets have inspired boys, for over 100 years, to develop an early interest and skill set in engineering. It's time to motivate our girls to help build our future.
GoldieBlox is a construction toy + book series starring Goldie, the kid inventor who loves to build. As girls read along, they get to build what Goldie builds.
Target age range: 5-9
The initial set includes:
- Storybook: "GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine": This is the intro to Goldie, where she builds a belt drive to spin all her friends.
- Character Figurines: Nacho (Goldie's beloved dog), Benjamin Cranklin (the cat with an attitude), Katinka (the dolphin ballerina), Phil (the sloth), and Flavio (the bear from Brazil).
- Construction Set: 1 pegboard, 5 wheels, 10 axles, 5 blocks, 1 crank, 1 ribbon and 5 washers.
Book+Toy #2 includes the "GoldieBlox Goes to the Parade" storybook + character figures + construction set pieces to build a parade float vehicle.
Book+Toy #3 includes the "GoldieBlox and the Treehouse" storybook + character figurines + construction set pieces to build a pulley elevator.
All of the construction pieces in each set will be inter-compatible. Book+Toys 2 & 3 introduce medium and long axles and different lengths of ribbon. With this many construction pieces, the play opportunities are absolutely endless.
To get the entire series, pledge at the [GET THE WHOLE GANG -- $90] level. If we reach our $400,000 stretch goal, then we can ramp up production on Book+Toys 2 & 3 to have them shipped by April '13 and May '13, respectively. If we do not reach this goal, we will still be able to produce them...it'll just take a little longer (by August '13).
And for our tech-loving girls, Goldie's stories will be available as free e-book downloads for iPhone and iPad with narration, animation and tutorial videos to truly bring Goldie to life and lend a hand to girls who aren't quite at Goldie's reading level yet.
Bringing Goldie to Life
GoldieBlox has come a long way. I've taken the concept from a drawing in a sketchbook to numerous working prototypes to a real toy sample in just eight short months. I partnered with Cornell researchers to test my prototypes on over 100 kids in over 40 homes and 3 schools. The testing went so well, I decided to take the leap.
I've already partnered with an exceptional manufacturer that produced the toy sample you saw in the video. The construction parts will be made out of plastic and foam and they are getting tooled in China right now. Don't worry, I'm avoiding hazardous plastics like PVC to make sure GoldieBlox is safe for children. Plus, I'll be putting the toy through rigorous industry-standard child safety testing before it reaches your door.
I've spent my entire life savings to get it this far. The GoldieBlox book+toy is ready to go...all I need to do is place the production order. (This is where YOU step in.) But in order to do this, the minimum order quantity is 5000 units. Support me in this endeavor, and I will get GoldieBlox into the hands of as many little girls as possible.
How did I pull this off, you may ask? Well, my manufacturing is getting set up by a production expert with over 30 years experience in toys; specifically, plastic-injection-mold construction toys. I met him at my last job, a sign yet again from the universe that GoldieBlox was meant to happen.
I've had some other folks help me out that you may have heard of...the founders of Pictionary, Cranium and Klutz Books as well as the head of toys at IDEO have all lent me their expertise. I am forever indebted to them.
Once you've backed me on Kickstarter, you'll get to track the progress of GoldieBlox as she gets created every step of the way on www.goldieblox.com. PLUS, you'll get to learn HOW she gets made and all the engineering principles behind it.
Designed for girls
GoldieBlox goes beyond "making it pink" to appeal to girls. I spent a year doing in-depth research into gender differences and child development to create the concept. My big "aha"? Boys have strong spatial skills, which is why they love construction toys so much. Girls, on the other hand, have superior verbal skills. They love reading, stories, and characters.
GoldieBlox is the best of both worlds: reading + building. It appeals to girls because they aren't just interested in "what" they're building...they want to know "why." Goldie's stories relate to girls' lives. The machines Goldie builds solve problems and help her friends. As girls read along, they want to be like Goldie and do what she does.
Goldie's toolkit is inspired by common household objects and craft items -- things girls are already familiar with. Plus, the set features soft textures, curved edges and attractive colors which are all innately appealing to girls. Last but not least, the story of Goldie is lighthearted and humorous. It takes the intimidation factor out of engineering and makes it fun and accessible.
This Kickstarter project is only the beginning of what I intend to create: an entire SERIES of GoldieBlox building stories where she learns about all kinds of engineering concepts including gears, pulleys, circuits, and even coding. I want to equip girls at each age level to challenge themselves and build their dreams. To me, GoldieBlox isn't a one-off product, oh no. Help me get this first story off the ground, and we will kickstart a movement.
***Photo credits: Susan Burdick Photography
- (30 days)