Debbie Sterling Lewis is a female engineer — one of the few. Eighty-nine percent of engineers are male and she wanted to do something to change that. So, she invented GoldieBlox.
Stanford Engineer Debbie Sterling Lewis’ goal was to develop a fun construction toy just for girls in order to get them interested in engineering. She believes that engineers can’t build our world’s future without the female perspective. Therefore, she decided to create a toy company with little girls in mind called GoldieBlox.
Construction and structural toys develop spatial skills and help kids get interested in building and engineering. GoldieBlox is a book and a construction toy combined. Since girls love reading, Lewis thought adding the reading element was key to the appeal of her product. As Lewis explains, it’s spatial plus verbal combined — the building sets plus books.
Getting GoldieBlox off the ground
After testing it with hundreds of kids, Sterling Lewis was ready to launch GoldieBlox, but had used all her life savings and called in every favor she had. The minimum order to produce GoldieBlox was 5000 and she needed funding, so Sterling Lewis turned to Kickstarter.
Watch her video plea below — it’s simply beautiful.
And Kickstarter came through for GoldieBlox, just like it has for many other start-up companies. Not only did GoldieBlox get backing, it got funded in five days, along with the next two books in the series.
With a target age of girls from 5-9, the initial GoldieBlox 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.
Joining the boys club
Sterling Lewis aims to inspire girls to challenge the stereotype, get into science and construction, and take the world of engineering by storm. The first delivery of GoldieBlox is expected to reach consumers in February 2013.