There has been a long list of initiatives aimed at getting more women involved in the S.T.E.M. fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). And it’s no surprise that getting girls interested at a young age can help encourage them to pursue such careers once the time comes. A new toy doll from MGA Entertainment Canada has an interesting idea on how to go about this.
Smart is the New Cool
Aimed at elementary school-aged girls, the doll is part of the Project Mc² initiative, and includes four characters – McKeyla McAlister, Adrienne Attoms, Bryden Bandweth, and Camryn Coyle – who, while displaying a love of fashion and style, also have clear interests in fields like science and technology. The project adds “art” to the list as well, referring to a new acronym, S.T.E.A.M.
The idea is that the “geek chic” girl dolls are designed to look like real girls, with differing heights and cultural backgrounds, as well as a unique backstory for each. But most important, each lifelike doll also comes with a host of activities in the S.T.E.A.M. fields that kids can help her do using everyday household items, like oil, vinegar, and baking soda. Parents can also buy additional experiments for each doll, like McKeyla’s Ultimate Lab Kit, A.D.I.S.N. Journal, Grow-Your-Own Rock Sugar Jewelry, and Make-Your-Own Soda Can Robot. There are plans for more kits and add-ons as well, including apparel. The brand touts the phrase “Smart is the New Cool.”
Isaac Larian, CEO at MGA Entertainment, says he hopes to see a woman as the CEO of Apple, Amazon, or Intel in his lifetime.
“My goal with the Project Mc² franchise,” he says, “is to encourage girls everywhere to be interested and pursue S.T.E.A.M-based careers…It is a dream come true for MGA to bring this entertainment franchise to life in order to empower young girls to learn, play and explore the world around them on all of the platforms where they are engaged; from retail, to TV and online.”
Project Mc² Netflix Series
With the latter two mediums, Larian is referring to the additional properties within the Project Mc² initiative, which include a spy-themed Netflix original series, produced alongside AwesomenessTV and geared toward tweens, and short-form digital content set to appear on the YouTube channels for AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV.
The Netflix series, targeted to girls aged 6 through 13, stars Danica McKellar as The Quail, the leader of NOV8 (pronounced “Innovate,”) a secret spy organization led by the world’s smartest female operatives. Moms and dads may be most familiar with McKellar from her role as Winnie Cooper, starring alongside Fred Savage in the ‘80s sitcom The Wonder Years. McKellar, herself, has a keen interest in the S.T.E.M. fields, having authored a book for tweens entitled Math Doesn’t Suck. Alongside her acting career, she earned a Bachelor of Science and Mathematics at UCLA, and graduated summa cum laude.
The Project Mc² doll line, which can be purchased at retailers like Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Indigo, and Sears, are priced from $13 for accessories up to $70 for the dolls. They’re geared toward girls aged 6-10.
It’s a great idea to get girls to relate science and math to something fun and engaging, and with fashion on the minds of many young girls these days, a clothing line could take off as well. And that’s a trend bandwagon parents should be happy if their young girls jump on.