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Our cool lab gear, storybooks, and science activities for young girls will inspire the next generation of innovators.
Our cool lab gear, storybooks, and science activities for young girls will inspire the next generation of innovators.
304 backers pledged $31,035 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$31,035

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Stretch Goal #1 - If we reach $30,000, we will be able to add more illustrations to the storybooks, and will be able to print this 1st edition in hardcover!  Everyone who is slated to receive a book via the Kickstarter rewards will automatically be upgraded to receive a beautiful hardcover edition!  More illustrations = more love (at least that’s what we think).

Hi! My name is Olivia, I study Cognitive Science at Yale, and I'm CEO of LabCandy. When most people picture a scientist, they picture something like this:

Really??  There isn't a whole lot in that image which is relatable, or even interesting to a young girl. And it shows. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, currently only about 24% of STEM related jobs are occupied by women. Lots of wonderful programs have sprung up in defiance of this statistic, but a fundamental problem still remains: How can young girls picture themselves as scientists when the 'nerdy male' stereotype is still so prevalent? That's where LabCandy comes in. We want to turn that above image, into this:

We're changing the faces of science, literally!

Our product line combines brightly colored, funky labcoats, matching kid-sized goggles packaged with lots of fun bling for at-home, DIY customization, and an adventure storybook featuring some spunky young scientists.  In short, we've created more than just a fun educational toy - we've created characters! Girls who are smart and vivacious and colorful. Role models, that any little girl can relate to. The best part? Every product contains multiple science experiments which are as educational as they are inspiring. Check out our product description below for details on the whole package, and join our movement!   

Our Products

LabCandy's first product is a combo pack which contains three items: a LabCoat, LabGoggles, and a storybook. 

We pair fun, brightly patterned lab coats with matching kid-sized goggles. The lab coats are one-size-fits-most.  The goggles are 'DIY,' which means that they come with lots of cool "bling" like rhinestones and other supplies.   This DIY element allows our young scientists to create their own pair of goggles that is as unique as they are. 

It's a pretty neat combo, but the element that really ties it all together is our storybook. Aimed at readers ages kindergarten through third grade, our first storybook follows the adventures of third grader Ava Margaret Avignoli. Ava notices something fishy going on at her school and, with the help of her science teacher, Ms. Rietz, she investigates the wacky happenings and uses science to save the day.

Above Illustration by Emily Monjaraz. She rocks!
Above Illustration by Emily Monjaraz. She rocks!

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a Kickstarter-exclusive, story excerpt! Ava And The Copper Key is a storybook and workbook in one. Interspersed throughout the storyline are fun, interactive pages where readers can write in Ava's science journal. Let your young reader take a crack at forming some of her own hypotheses! As Ava asks questions and learns the scientific method, so does she. In addition, the book contains 'recipe cards' that explain how to recreate Ava's favorite experiments at home. This includes the famous copper key experiment that Ava uses to save the day, as well as several other simple, kid-safe, chemistry experiments for hours of interactive fun! Oh, and did we mention that Ava wears some of the same, bright LabCandy lab gear when she solves the mystery? Now that's some seriously sweet science. 

Why We Need You!

In the short term, encouraging young girls in STEM promotes self-confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. In the long term, it opens up new job opportunities. STEM jobs in the US in the past 10 years have grown at three times the pace of non-STEM jobs, and women working in STEM-related fields earn on average 33% more than those that don’t. Getting women involved in STEM is essential to closing the gender wage gap, and empowering our next generation of problem solvers. It will make for a brighter future for our young girls and for our nation.

We can't wait to do our part to engage the nation's young girls in STEM. However, we cannot hand-make enough product to truly make a difference. It's time to press go on factory production. The only problem? Our factory requires a substantial minimum order. Join us on our mission! Help us meet our minimum order goal, and together we can cultivate our next generation of scientists, inventors, and innovators. 

Creating LabCandy

LabCandy actually started as a blog that I wrote while doing research in a neurobiology lab at Stanford University.  The blog was targeted at getting young girls interested in science, and was a first-hand account of my experiences at the (lab) bench.  One day I posted a picture of some beadazzled lab goggles.

I didn't think anything of it until I logged on and was flooded with comments from little girls all over the country asking me: "where can I get a pair of those goggles!" That was the moment where I realized I had stumbled across something that resonated with girls. I decided to make another pair...and another. Three years later, I'm still making beadazzled lab goggles! And I'm loving every second of it :)

Check Out Our Sweet Tee

Meet Our Team

Shout-outs (In Alphabetical Order) 

Mountains of gratitude to the many people who have helped make this campaign possible.   Below are just a few superstars who have shared their time, talents and positive energy in support of LabCandy and its mission of stoking our young girls' STEM interest.  Thank you - you rock! 

Susannah Benjamin – Creds for the amazing photos. Beyonce, Glamour, Balenciaga, and now LabCandy- you just keep getting better. “Such an important mission; I loved working on this.”   Ron Bradbury – t-shirt genius http://rbrad.com/    Rebecca Brandriff – Yale West Campus is amazing. Thank you for the hospitality!  Susan Cahan – Thank you so much for being LabCandy’s advocate!  Mary Cahill – You’ve changed so many children’s lives, thanks for being an awesome science teacher.  Cheryl Colbert – Seamstress extraordinaire “Love this, I’ll do everything I can to make it happen!” Marymount University School of Fashion Design – especially Professors Ellinwood, Chae, and Borsari. “As an educator, I am excited about your purpose.”     Victoria Elenowitz - Fostering women entrepreneurs and innovators. Thank you for teaching me to ask for what I want. Jonathan Edwards Family – Sorry about rhinestones and fabric samples in the common room. Lush Life Film – our fabulous videographer http://lushlifefilm.com/       Dr. Richard N. Foster, Co-Chair of the Presidents' Circle of the National Academy of Sciences - Your tireless commitment to our next generation of scientists is changing the world.  You've changed mine.  This truly couldn't have happened without you.   Claudia Holwill - Digital media maven. Coleman Lukas – Music Director. “I’m excited…it’s an important campaign.”    MayLi Wall Lynch –  Design maven, goggle guru, and best friend who's been there since the beginning. Sharon Muniz – Thanks for stepping in when technology failed us. National Girls' Collaborative Project & Karen Peterson http://www.ngcproject.org/ “Innovative ideas for positive social impact.”    Pam Pine – Thanks for helping us knock this out of the park!   Barbara Kline Pope, Executive Director for Communications, the National Academies - the 'Women's Adventures in Science' book series is a constant inspiration, thank you for helping us continue the legacy.   Sara Lee Schupf Your long-standing support of women in STEM showed LabCandy the wayOur Beautiful Young Scientists – Alexis Watkinson, Ashleigh Watkinson, Ava Pavco, Emma D. McMillian, Jade Lee, Juju Yonemoto, Martina Dimitrova, Matilda Lorenz, Natalie Luttschwager, Rania Mrinaalini Das. You girls make all the hard work worth it! “Let’s build the experiment again” - Natalie “Coolest. Lab coat. EVER!” –Ashleigh “Is this what a scientist looks like? Cool.” –Ava.      Melissa Vail, Trustee of the New York Hall of Science -  Your work is a powerful catalyst for changing the faces of STEM.  Thank you for your fabulous and inspired mentorship! Yale Entrepreneurial Institute – Where it all began. Thank you especially to Jim Boyle, Alena Gribskov, Wes Bray, Brita Belli, Lynn Fiellin, and Erika Smith. 

WE.DID.IT.
WE.DID.IT.
 

Story Excerpt! 

Chapter 4

Something Smells Fishy

School was going to be good today. Ava could not wait to get off the bus. She knew that today wasn’t just any Friday. It was the Friday when she, Ava Margaret Avignoli, was going to pull out the special key, discover something big, and figure out why things at her school had been so odd lately.

Her best friend, Chloe, met her at the lockers. Chloe had dark brown hair and brown eyes and a big smile. Ava smiled too. Chloe had been her best friend since kindergarten, and they shared everything – even mysteries! Even bubblegum. Especially bubblegum. Ava pulled out her trusty stash of hubba bubba and cheerfully offered Chloe a piece. 

Just then, the janitor walked by. Ava stopped smiling. The janitor’s name was Mr. Mackerel, and he was definitely fishy. “Chloe,” Ava whispered, “don’t you think some of the teachers have been acting a little strange lately?” Chloe chewed her gum thoughtfully. “Do you mean like when Mr. Bates had dirt all over his hands yesterday in English class?” she asked. “Yes!” Ava said. “Exactly. Why does Mr. Bates have dirt on his hands, and why does Mrs. Stout have dirt caked all over her shoes? Why does Coach Parker walk around with slimy smudges all over her sweat shirt? And why oh why does Mr. Mackerel smell so fishy!?” Chloe narrowed her eyes. “Hmmmmm,” she said. “There is definitely something strange going on here!” Ava blew a bubble and smacked it in agreement. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I have a plan.”


Risks and challenges

DISCLAIMERS: Due to variabilities in supply, the fabric pattern on the LabCoat you receive may vary from the fabric patterns pictured herein. But don't worry, the LabCoat you receive will be fun and bright and colorful with the same funky vibe! Because our LabCoat and LabGoggles have not yet been certified to meet all of the rules and regulations applicable for use in working laboratories, please know that they are currently considered to be "toys". This means that while they are super awesome for conducting the kid-friendly experiments inside our storybooks, they are not intended for actual laboratory use where there are potential safety hazards. DO NOT use them in place of safety-certified regular, boring lab coats and goggles if you are conducting an experiment where safety grade lab gear is necessary.

Our goal is to successfully produce LabCoats and LabGoggles, along with our storybooks. Whenever you are manufacturing a physical product, there is the possibility of time delays. Please bear with us! We are a young organization, and we are trying to make you the very best product possible. Along those same lines...we welcome your feedback! Once you receive our product, please let us know what you think. Things you like? Don't like? Let us know so we can continue to improve. Every package will include an information card on how to contact us, so please make sure you do!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Welcome to the team! We'll give you a shout-out on Facebook repping our gratitude + our LabCandy team will be channeling lots of good energy your way!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Get the shout-out AND an emailed thank-you from our main character Ava, including a digital download of a favorite experiment from her storybook "Ava and the Copper Key." Ava will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to thrill your young scientista with this fun, do-at-home introduction to the world of science. The results are pretty astounding!

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    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    **KICKSTARTER SPECIAL AVA AND THE COPPER KEY. Why not? We met our goal – thanks to you – so we’re sending a little love your way. Now for just $19 you can nab a copy of Ava and the Copper Key (t-shirt, lab coat, and goggles NOT included at the 19$ level). Read about Ava’s adventures, and try out some of her funky experiments! Ask questions, create hypotheses, and help Ava save the day. As Ava navigates the trials of friendship, school, and science class, she discovers a powerful truth: if you love science, then YOU are what a scientist looks like!

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    **Kickstarter exclusive! Get the shout-out AND our limited edition LabCandy t-shirt. Not your basic, boring shirt. Available in youth and ladies sizes, this cool tee announces to the world that “THIS IS WHAT A SCIENTIST LOOKS LIKE!” You’ll also be feeling our sweet hugs coming your way. Check out our sweet tees below. (free shipping to US)

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    INTERNATIONAL tee-shirt! You asked and we listened. Get our super sweet tee delivered overseas. Spread the LabCandy message, and help inspire girls everywhere!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get the shout-out, t-shirt, AND a collector’s 1st edition of our storybook, “Ava and the Copper Key,” signed by the author, AND a pair of our colorful, kid-sized lab goggles, including lots of bling so your favorite scientist can decorate them. Let her wear her pair of lab peepers while curled up on your lap reading our storybook. The warm fuzzies overfloweth. (free shipping to US)

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    **COMBO PACK EARLY BIRD SPECIAL. It's the full package, y'all! Get the shout-out, signed collector's 1st edition of our storybook, lab goggles, AND our brightly patterned lab coat. Thrill your budding scientista by getting her the full package of gear like the gear worn by our characters in the storybook. You’re sowing the seeds for future discoveries and delight by your own little scientist. Our team will share in the joy. (free shipping to US).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    **COMBO PACK DELUXE. Get everything in the combo pack early bird special AND a t-shirt. Rep LabCandy in the lab and on the streets with one of our seriously sweet tees. (free shipping to US).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    **INTERNATIONAL COMBO PACK. You asked and we answered! Get the combo pack early bird special delivered overseas. Thanks for the international support!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Get the full combo pack, t-shirt, AND a name of your choice to appear on a special "backers" page inside our first storybook. Getting stoked now just thinking about your young reader’s excitement when she sees her full name appear inside the storybook. This is why we do this. (free shipping to US)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get the full combo pack, t-shirt, book shout-out, AND a signed, limited edition of an original illustration from LabCandy’s 1st edition storybook (limited to 10). You can go to sleep at night knowing that, thanks to you, our LabCandy team is jumping with joy. (free shipping to US).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Get the full combo pack, t-shirt, book shout-out, AND spend the afternoon at Yale with our founder, Olivia! You and your little scientist are invited to join Olivia for lunch at the iconic Yale institution, Mory's, and afterwards she'll escort you on a private tour of her favorite spots on Yale's campus. Learn about the sciences at Yale and discover how/where Olivia came up with the ideas for LabCandy's storybook. Spark the love of learning in your young scientist. You get to New Haven, and lunch is on us! (free shipping to US).

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Get the full combo pack, t-shirt, book shout-out, AND you can name one of the characters in our storybook! Your tribute to a special someone will be etched in the annals of publishing history forever. Your young reader, a parent, grandparent, sibling, teacher or special friend will love seeing her or his name inside the story (free shipping to US) (limited to 3).

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Get the full combo pack, t-shirt, book shout-out, AND we will illustrate a face of your choosing into our 1st edition storybook AND we will deliver 100 books to institutions that you select. Schools, educational programs, after-school learning programs, libraries, etc. - let us know the lucky recipients and we’ll handle sending the books along with best wishes. Surprise and honor a special person by memorializing her or his face in our book's pages, and then share the joy with others. (free shipping to US) (limited to three).

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Funding period

- (28 days)