Building Interest in STEM One GoldieBlox at a Time

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I tell Kate all the time that she should major in engineering in college. You know why? Because people with engineering degrees get jobs. Good ones. That pay a lot of money.

To be honest, though, engineering isn’t really on her radar (not that she’s quite ready to choose of vocation at the ripe old age of 10, but still). And she’s not alone – girls are losing interest in math and science as young as age eight, and right now, only 14 percent of engineers are female.

Remember what I said about jobs and money? We are losing out. More importantly, engineers literally build our world; having female perspective and input in how that should look is critical.

For anyone who has ever walked down toy aisles, the origin of this phenomenon is pretty clear – toys designed for boys encourage them to build and create, and toys designed for girls, well, don’t.

Enter GoldieBlox.

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GoldieBlox’s mission is to help girls stay interested in engineering and technology past age eight by creating toys and books that they’ll love. GoldieBlox is a series of interactive books and construction sets that help them develop and build spacial skills while having fun.

Kate (and Sam – he had to get in on the action too) had a chance to check out GoldieBlox earlier this week.

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In this set, Goldie’s dog Nacho needs a bath. He hates taking a bath, though, so Goldie’s solution is to take him to the carnival and put him in the dunk tank. As kids read along with the story, they build a dunk tank – and develop problem solving skills, learn about spatial relationships, and comprehend basic building principles like hinges and levers.

Kate and Sam built the set, created that video, and texted it to me while I was at work. Add independence to the list of skills honed!

Originally created as a Kickstarter campaign, GoldieBlox went viral and now it’s everywhere. You can buy sets on Amazon, Toys R Us, GoldieBlox.com, or thousands of other stores. I’ll be keeping GoldieBlox in mind for all the girls on my Christmas list!

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This post was written in partnership with GoldieBlox and TheMotherhood.com.

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School is in SESSION!

Cheers, my friends. All 3 kids are in school! Although they are doing staggered start for Jonah’s preschool so he will be back home tomorrow, I AM STILL TAKING IT. Also, his preschool now starts at 7:30 which is brutal BUT I AM SO HAPPY I don’t care right now!!

I am going to savor my delicious aloneness for 55 more minutes before I have to go pick him up from preschool. Then I am going to hug and kiss him and squeeze him and take his picture because he wouldn’t let me take it this morning. I can’t wait to hear about his first day!

But right now, I have some butt to kick: housework, work work, oh and I need to fit in ONE more cup of coffee. I’ve got some exciting things going on that I can’t wait to tell you about, but…I will wait, until it’s time.

Are your kiddos back in school yet? Are you like me and happy about it or are you actually a good mom and miss them terribly? :)

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Kids, Never Get in the Car With a Stranger. Unless She’s Me.

We’ve had a hard time getting to the pool this summer already. We had a couple hot days 2 seconds after school let out but oopsie we forgot to pay our pool dues so we had to wait for the check to clear…then it was rainy and 65 for a week…so finally this week it has  been nice and hot and the kids were READY. Monday afternoon the forecast looked like it was going to be ok – maybe some late morning storms before the pool opened, but then we should be good. So the big kids and I suited up and picked Jonah up from summer school and headed straight to the pool.

We almost had our sunscreen applied before the heavens opened and poured rain, lightning, and thunder on us. Everyone ran for the pool’s clubhouse, and after several thunder rumbles in just a few minutes, the (underage  in my opinion) powers that be decided to just CLOSE the pool instead of waiting it out. So people started leaving and there were these 2 boys, maybe 13 and 7, that did not have an adult with them and I was concerned, because the probably-not-qualified people in charge were KICKING US OUT.

So I’m all, “Is your mom coming to get you?” And the older boy replied that she was out and that he had walked to the pool while his little brother rode his bike.

“Well, can I give you a ride? I’m not scary I promise.” No, no, he protested, it wasn’t far and they would be fine.

I was dubious, but I needed to get my own kids packed up before we got  booted out, so I left Joshua in charge of Jonah and sprinted to get the van pulled up close. By this time, the rain was coming down in sheets. I got the van pulled up, and I was already drenched, when I proceeded to get more drenched getting Jonah in the van. I hadn’t gotten in the pool, but you’d never know it by how soaking wet I was.  Right after I got Jonah buckled in, a huge crack of lightning and crazy loud thunder sounded – it was very close by.

I ran back into the clubhouse and decided to try to convince those boys to GET IN MY VAN like a total creeper. I was pretty darn sure if they tried to walk home they would get struck by lightning or drown standing up. The rain was super super heavy.

“Please,” I said, “PLEASE let me take you home. I promise I’m not weird, but I am a mom and I can’t let someone else’s child walk home in this! Do you want to borrow my phone and call your mom and ask if it’s ok?”

I think that giant crack of thunder and lightning did all the convincing for me, because this time the boys were ready to go. They didn’t even want to call their mom. I grabbed the little one’s  bike and popped the back of my van open and ordered the boys to get in. I got SO drenched while putting the bike in my van that my face was completely wet as if someone had tossed a bucket of water on my head. It was nuts!

The boys thanked me profusely and two minutes later we were in their driveway – it really was a short walk, but it would’ve been terrible in that storm.

Of course, by the time we pulled in our own driveway 10 minutes later, the sun was shining.

What-evs. At least I convinced some kids to get in my van!

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