stories for resilience, inspired by design & technology

Barbie, the Engineer

Yes, you read that right. There’s a new Barbie in town. Barbie STEM kit (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math) offers a mini-skirt wearing technician—flagging up the first problem—who only fixes or builds domestic appliances.

barbiestem_v2

Professional women have argued that the domestic context of the new Barbie reinforces the idea that a woman’s focus is and should be the home. The toy’s maker, Thames & Kosmos, counters that children at that age mostly know about things they find in their own houses, so the domestic focus is age-appropriate. However this argument doesn’t seem to hold when considering toys for boys, routinely featuring racing cars, farm tractors, and jets or spaceships.

Tereza Pultarova, reporting on the Barbie for The Institute for Engineering and Technology, notes that in the UK only 9% of engineers are women, the lowest proportion in Europe. If Engineer Barbie can encourage more girls to take an engineer’s path, does it matter that she wears a mini skirt? Should engineering necessarily take away a woman or girl’s femininity? Perhaps one thing we can all agree on – we need more diverse and creative toys to encourage STEM skills among girls.

Leave a reply

About

On our blog, weekly resources on kids, design and resilience from Kids Future Press. Our picture books capture what’s cool about a sustainable future and bring it to life for your kids...and you!

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook

Parents and Teachers: download the teaching and learning guide for Bicycles, Airships and Things that Go!


Show your kids resilience in a way they enjoy, with a picture book. flip through the book or order it: Bicycles, Airships, and Things that Go

Resilience

Does this view of sustainability resonate with you?

Find out how these topics figure into our launch title, Bicycles, Airships and Things that Go.

Find these posts useful?

Updates on our titles, kids activities, insights on design + kids + resilience (every other month or so)

Contact

AB (at) kidsfuturepress (dot) com

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook

Resources

Find resources on our Blog