A Viral Video Encourages Girls to Become Engineers
CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
said girls want to dress in pink and play with dolls, especially when
they could be building Rube
Goldberg machines instead?
is the message of a
has gone viral since it was posted on YouTube this week — an ad
a start-up toy company that
sells games and books to encourage girls to become engineers.
the video, three girls are bored watching princesses in pink on TV.
So they grab a tool kit, goggles and a hard hat and set to work
building a Rube Goldberg machine that sends pink teacups and baby
dolls flying through the house, using umbrellas, ladders and, of
course, GoldieBlox toys.
all happens to the tune of “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, a
decidedly anti-feminist ballad that the ad’s creators rewrote.
“Girls to do the dishes/Girls to clean up my room/Girls to do the
laundry/Girls and in the bathroom/Girls, that’s all I really want
of the actresses in the ad sings: “Girls build a spaceship/Girls
code the new app/Girls that grow up knowing/That they can engineer
that/Girls, that’s all we really need is girls/To bring us up to
speed it’s girls/Our opportunity is girls/Don’t underestimate
thought back to my childhood with the princesses and the ponies and
wondered why construction toys and math and science kits are for
boys,” Debbie Sterling, founder and chief executive of GoldieBlox,
said in an interview. “We wanted to create a cultural shift and
close the gender gap and fill some of these jobs that are growing at
the speed of light.”
started the company two years ago, after graduating with a degree in
product design from the mechanical engineering department at
Stanford, where she was disappointed that there were not more women
in her classes.
engineers at tech companies, largely because of a supply problem. In
2010, women earned just 18 percent of computer science degrees, down
from 37 percent in 1985, according
National Center for Women and Information Technology. The problem,
many analysts say, starts in childhood, when teachers and parents do
not encourage girls to pursue engineering.
over Mexican food a few months ago, Ms. Sterling and the GoldieBlox
team came up with an idea to make a video that made engineering seem
cool to young people. They were inspired by the Rube Goldberg machine
in an OK
Go music video and
the creator of that machine, Brett
agreed to build one for the GoldieBlox ad.
This is a repost of an Article that
appeared on the New York Times on November 20, 2013