Mattel just announced a new Barbie as part of their “Career of the Year” line. Barbie has had a wide array of occupations over the years, however this one is different. Barbie will now be a robotics engineer and have a mini robot sidekick! The package will include a laptop displaying her current project and she will sport a trendy business casual outfit complete with safety goggles. This Barbie will come in four different complexions. Along with that, Mattel has created a workbook called “Code Camp for Barbie and Friends” and Tynker.com program to teach kids basic coding concepts. The program is a tutorial that teaches you how to animate a robot on the screen by snapping together puzzle-shaped commands.
The workbook and coding lesson is a huge improvement over the 2010 picture book, “I Can Be a Computer Engineer” where Barbie revealed that she need boys to fix her computer from a virus. Mattel later apologized for this, so we are happy that this Barbie is different. “We've always been about inspiring little girls in believing they can do things they couldn't do before," Gerjets said. "I think what we try to do differently this time is to give them some steps toward the career, to sort of close that dream gap."
Though we’re a bit torn about Barbie, we love that Mattel is trying to use this iconic doll to inspire girls. On Mattel’s website, they explain their reasoning for the latest Barbie. Only 24% of STEM jobs are held by women and they hope to inspire the next generation of women to explore and love STEM fields at a young age. That is a mission we can agree with! We created our Robotic Arms collection for the same reason. The more we show girls that STEM fields belong to them too, the more the paradigm will shift.
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