Last week, on November 17, a video was uploaded to YouTube which has since gone viral, pulling in almost six million views.
The video features three little girls who excitedly follow an ingenious system (a Rube Goldberg machine) around a house including bowling balls, running taps and a great deal of creativity in the engineering department.
There’s an accompanying song, too, which, aside from being ridiculously catchy, has the lyrics: “Girls to build the spaceship/ Girls to code the new app/ Girls to grow up knowing that they can engineer that.” Those lines pretty much sum up what GoldieBlox, the company behind the video, is all about.
Put simply, GoldieBlox‘s goal is “to get girls building”. To do this, Debbie Sterling, the inventor and CEO of GoldieBlox, has created a construction toy, which comes with an accompanying story and that is specifically aimed at young girls. The stories feature Goldie, a female inventor, and narrate a number of adventures that, to be completed, require the reader to have an understanding of basic engineering principles, and also to be able to apply them.
Sterling, who graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering/ Product Design, estimates that for every female engineer in the world, there are approximately nine other male engineers. With GoldieBlox, Sterling is looking “to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase”.
The viral success of the YouTube video has been replicated in a number of other ways. GoldieBlox’s Kickstarter campaign, which closed last month, raised $135,000 more than the original target. GoldieBlox is also one of four finalists who can be voted for to have its advert played during next year’s Super Bowl.
There are currently two toy/book combinations on the GoldieBlox website, which are retailing for $19.99 and $29.99 (£12 and £19).