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LEGO Announces a Women of NASA Set

LEGO! It’s nice to see you upping your game. Your latest set proposal is out of this world — literally — and we can’t wait until it hits the shelves.

LEGO is developing a Women of NASA set featuring women who have made huge contributions to the U.S. space program over the years. The final design isn’t available yet, but the figure lineup includes Sally Ride (first American woman in space) and mathematician Katherine Johnson, who was portrayed to perfection this year by Taraji P. Henson in the Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures.

LEGO’s hoping this set will be a hit with space-minded kids (especially girls) interested in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The very cool Women of NASA set was created as part of LEGO Ideas, a site that allows fans and LEGO users to propose ideas for new LEGO sets. This project was the brainchild of MIT News writer and science editor Maia Weinstock. Weinstock’s concept beat out 11 other projects in the LEGO Ideas competition — each had to receive votes from 10,000 supporters to make it to the next level.

We do have one little tiny bone to pick. The project’s LEGO Ideas page reads, “Ladies rock outer space!” We could do without the prissy word choice of “ladies.” Is it really so hard to say “Women rock outer space”? Still, we’re excited to get our hands on the final product.

More: New LEGO campaign highlights the importance of imaginative play for kids

Who else is in the Women of NASA lineup? Well, we’re so glad you asked. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space; Margaret Hamilton, a brilliant computer scientist; and Nancy Grace Roman, known as the badass “Mother of Hubble” for her work on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Next time we step on a LEGO, we’re totally going to yell MOTHER OF HUBBLE.

More: Emotions you will experience when you (inevitably) step on a LEGO

Weinstock is over the moon (heh) that LEGO is going forward with her concept. She feels it’s “critical to have toys that girls can look at and play with and think, ‘that’s me!’ or ‘that could be me!'” Weinstock also said, “I also just hope that girls and boys will take away from it the sense that women belong in engineering, in mathematics… I hope in some small way, it helps to inspire the kids of the future.”

We’re not sure when the set will make its way out of production and into stores, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, we’ve been thinking of other girl-empowering LEGO sets we’d love to see.
Famous suffragettes: Why should Hamilton have all the historical fun? (No offense, Lin-Manuel, we just wanted more of the Schuyler sisters.) How about Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Mary Church Terrell (founder of the National Association of Colored Women)?
Women in music: Oh, come on. The list is endless! For starters, how about a wicked LEGO stage with working lights and Tina Turner, Joan Jett, Beyoncé, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, Madonna and Lady Gaga on deck?
Great women Olympic champions: May we suggest the Final Five, who dominated and won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics? (Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Simone Biles.) Of course, LEGO might need to rethink flexibility of these figures — and add springs and elastic for this particular set.
Famous women artists: Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo and Mary Cassatt just to kick things off. Bonus points for historically accurate art studios, LEGO! And LEGO versions of their most famous paintings! (Please. We really want to play with this one.)
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, who won the 2015 World Cup: The set could include the New York City ticker-tape parade they received — the first ever for a women’s sports team — and the White House, where they visited President Obama. In fact, Obama was fanboying (that’s a word, right?) hard after the women’s World Cup win. He said, “This team taught all of America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass.” THIS TEAM MADE THE PRESIDENT SAY “BADASS,” PEOPLE.
What’s more badass than that? Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, and Hope Solo in LEGO form? Sign us up.

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