7.23.2012

Science: It's a Girl Thing?

As the summer heat peaks and a new school year is revving its engines, my brain is working overtime on one thing... Christmas! It's maddening I know, but this is the time of year that I begin planning for the year's holliest and jolliest of holidays. Perfectly in tune with my premature planning is my spunky little six year old, who randomly announced that Santa should bring her a science kit this year. Randomly and unprompted, I swear.

So, I set out to research science kits- the good, the bad, the dangerous... world of overtly gender-specific educational science toys. While there are plenty of science-themed toys and kits that are not outright marketed towards boys, the first one that I came across was the Dangerous Book for Boys Chemistry Set. And yes, I realize that this product is based on a best-selling children's book. I just have to wonder does the manufacturer of this toy, Thames & Kosmos, realize that there is also a best-selling children's book called The Daring Book for Girls? Because there is no such science kit to be found under that title. This little discovery prompted an entirely new search for "science kits for girls."  I guess I shouldn't be surprised by what I found.

Bratz Adventures Globe
Science sets for girls are packaged in pink and overwhelmingly labeled as "design your own." Design your own perfume, soap, lip balm, mystic "krazy" crystals, and beautiful blob slime. Beautiful blob slime, really?!? Can I buy a set to design my own pink vomit, because that's what I'm feeling right about now? Is there any wonder why there are so few women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? Perhaps it has everything to do with the pathetic attempts to  to interest girls in science.

Did it ever occur to anyone that promoting science in a gender-specific way just might further alienate girls more from the field? Or perhaps initiatives like this video will make science just sexy and glamorous enough to get the girls on board. Design your own pink vomit before watching...




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