GoldieBlox and the Three Builds

A mere 11% of engineers in the U.S. are women, but Stanford engineer and product designer Debbie Sterling is doing her part to increase that percentage by getting young girls interested in building and problem solving though her interactive toy called GoldieBlox. Often, toy companies will take construction sets, like Lincoln Logs, and simply make them pink to appeal to girls, but Sterling argues that color is not the the most important factor. She spent a full year researching toys on the market and looking at gender-specific ways of learning. In a nutshell, she concluded that boys like building while girls like reading and storytelling.

Combining spatial and verbal learning, GoldieBlox is a book and construction toy based around Goldie, the girl inventor, and her group of friends, who go on adventures and solve problems by building simple machines. Following the story, young girls build the machines along with Goldie. Sterling launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the first production run, and she nearly doubled her goal. Though based in San Francisco, Sterling also came out to Maker Faire New York this year to share her toy and mission with the community.


I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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