GoldieBlox aim to inspire girls to become engineers - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

GoldieBlox aim to inspire girls to become engineers

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If you're thinking about getting your daughter or niece a doll this Christmas, you might want to think again. There's a new toy in town that's taking Barbie's place.

They're called GoldieBlox. You might have seen the ad pop-up on your Facebook timeline. It's been It's been viewed more than 8 million times on YouTube. After seeing the video, FOX28 wanted to see what the toys were all about.

That led us to 10-year-old Jade O'Brien. She's loved building things as long as she can remember. It started when she got Legos one year for Christmas. Now she's upgraded to building forts in her basement. "It's something fun and it really entertains me when I'm bored," Jade says, "I want to be an engineer because it sounds really fun and you can design things yourself."

Getting girls in the mind of an engineer is part of the mission for GoldieBlox. 

Hillary Shesterkin and Azunne Anigbo are both senior engineering majors at Saint Mary's College. We showed them the GoldieBlox commercial. They think it will start a revolution for young girls. "I was listening to the words, and I think that is just amazing within itself, said Hillary Shesterkin. "I love how they say we want to use our brains."

Both Shesterkin and Anigbo feel GoldieBlox targets young girls by keeping it colorful and girly at the same time. "This is definitely made for girls but it's still very engineering," said Azunne Anigbo. "That's what I like the most about it, is that you still get that identity of a girl."
   

Associate Dean of Engineering at Notre Dame Cathy Pieronek says the toy also gets young girls to hone in on their cognitive and verbal skills, but it's not the only way to target future female engineers. "I think the parents, if they work with their daughters, can be creative and take toys that their daughters are already interested in, and show their daughters how you can use things in their physical world to play with these toys differently," said Pieronek.

Pieronek says The University of Notre Dame has seen an increase in the number of woman majoring in engineering. Right now, 36% percent of their engineering students are females, compared to the national average of 18%. "Earning potential for engineers is great," said Pieronek. "Many of our larger employers in the country are going to be facing large scale retirements in the next 10 years. So there's going to be a need for a well trained workforce."

And that's exactly why Goldie Blox is targeting young girls like Jade now, so that by the time she graduates college, she can create and design things. Something Jade says she was born to do.

To view the Goldie Blox video click here

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