STEM

  • Meet the Mighty Women of NASA's New Astronaut Class

    From an aerospace engineer to a helicopter pilot to a microbiologist, these five remarkable women will help lead the way in space exploration!

    NASA's newest class of astronaut candidates has just been announced, and it includes five inspiring women! NASA received a record-breaking number of applicants for this astronaut class — over 18,000 in all — and the class itself has twelve members, their largest since the year 2000. "These women and men deserve our enthusiastic congratulations," said retired astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa. "Children all across the United States right now dream of being in their shoes someday. We here at NASA are excited to welcome them to the team and look forward to working with them to inspire the next generation of explorers."

    The astronaut candidates have two years of training in front of them before they're ready to break Earth's atmosphere, but in the meantime, space-loving Mighty Girls have five new role models to look up to! In this blog post, we introduce you to these five remarkably talented women. And, to inspire children who dream of their own careers in space, at the end of the post, we've showcased a variety of girl-empowering books and toys about shooting for the stars! Continue reading

  • Exploring Her World: 25 Science Toys and Kits for Outdoor Discovery

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of science toys and kits to encourage outdoor discovery and exploration.

    One of the best ways to spark a child's love for science is by allowing her to learn about it in the real world through outdoor play and discovery. Whether she's examining a favorite new insect, gazing at the stars, or cultivating a garden, nature is full of wonders to excite curious kids. And, with a few fun science toys, kits, and tools, kids can do a lot of learning and exploring on their own — and have a ball doing it!

    In this blog post, we've showcased two dozen of our favorite toys and kits to help kids get started on their outdoor explorations. From a set of field tools for kids to a rotating star map of the sky, these toys will let kids explore wherever their curiosity takes them. And, whether you have a budding naturalist, entomologist, astronomer, or geologist, there's something here for everyone!

    For Mighty Girl books about girls who love to explore the great outdoors, check out our blog post, 25 Mighty Girl Books About Outdoor Discovery, or browse our entire Animals & Nature book collection. Continue reading

  • Women Saving The Planet: 20 Kids' Books About Female Environmentalists

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children about trailblazing female environmentalists of the past and present.

    With April's Earth Month comes a special opportunity to teach kids about the people all around the world doing important work to care for our environment and the life within it! In addition to the day-to-day activities that we can all do to reduce our impact on the planet, it's important to recognize the scientists and activists, both past and present, who have encouraged us to see our planet in a new way: not as a set of resources for us to extract when we please, but as a precious and delicate system that sustains all life that we must strive to protect.

    In this blog post, we're sharing books for children and teens about twenty female environmentalists who changed the way that we think and act toward the Earth. These women made groundbreaking discoveries, fought for meaningful change to laws and policies, and shared their outlook — and their joy in nature — with the world. They're sure to inspire kids to look at the world outside their front door with newfound appreciation and think about ways they can help protect the planet!

    For more Mighty Girl books about environmental issues, including many fictional stories, visit our special feature on the Top Children's Books on the Environment. Continue reading

  • Building Her Dreams: Top 50 Building Toys for Mighty Girls

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of building and engineering toys for inventive Mighty Girls from toddlers to teens.

    building-toys-blog-2016-webIt starts the first moment an infant or toddler realizes that one block can balance on another block. Before you know it, building a tower to the sky (and making it crash down!) has become a favorite activity. For many kids, building toys remain favorites throughout childhood, with structures becoming more complex as kids' building skills advance. And once they can incorporate moving parts, budding engineers get to really explore all the incredible things they can put together!

    If you have an amateur architect or engineer on your hands, some intriguing new building toys make a great gift idea. By expanding the materials available for building, you can help kids develop useful skills like fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, planning, and spatial perception — and, of course, let them have a great time doing it! With that in mind, we've showcased 50 of our favorite building toys for kids from toddlers to teens in this blog post. Whether they are interested in building with classic blocks, bricks, rods, and connectors, or experimenting with magnets, wedges, and more, there’s something here that will intrigue every child!

    Science lovers can also find plenty of empowering options in our blog post Wrapped up in Science: Top 50 Science Toys for Mighty Girls.

    For more girl-empowering toys of all varieties, check out our 2016 Girl Empowerment Holiday Gift Guide and our 2016 Holiday Guide blog series.
    Continue reading

  • Science Is For Girls: 30 Books About Female Scientists

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for children and teens about real-life female scientists who changed the world!

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    "Young girls need to see role models in whatever career they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can't be what you can't see." — Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space

    When someone mentions scientists, chances are good that the face that pops into mind is male: perhaps a picture of Albert Einstein or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or maybe a more generic man in a lab coat. However, even when women were largely shut out of science, there were still groundbreaking women making discoveries, conducting experiments, and publishing research! And while school curricula and popular culture are slowly expanding to include women beyond a few notable favorites such as Marie Curie and Jane Goodall, many people — young and old alike — still often find themselves struggling to name even a handful of female scientists.

    Fortunately, with the increasing availability of great biographies for children and teens, we can show our girls that women in science make contributions every day! And, of course, these titles are just as important to share with boys because all kids need to know that science is for girls! With that in mind, we've showcased 25 of our favorite biographies of female scientists for young readers. From primatology to physics, the expanses of space to the vast floor of the ocean, these women made their mark and changed the way we see the world... just like the budding Mighty Girl scientists of today will one day! Continue reading

  • Add It Up! Top 30 Math Toys for Mighty Girls

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of math toys and games for curious Mighty Girls from toddlers to teens.

    building-toys-blog-websiteMath is all around us! From making a purchase to doubling a recipe to estimating how much longer a trip will take, we use math every day. Yet for many people there's a pervasive myth that you're either "good at math" or "bad at math" — that it's a talent you're born with, not a skill you can grow and develop with practice. And this misperception often has a significant effect on girls, who are prone to believing that their math ability is innate and that girls are less gifted at math than boys.

    Fortunately, the parents and educators of Mighty Girls know that girls can — and do! — excel at math, and that it's a skill that can improve with practice. To help your own Mighty Girl excel, there's no better way than by providing her with toys and games that build math skills while bringing the play back into numbers. With that in mind, in this blog post, we've showcased 30 of our favorite math-themed toys and games! Whether the Mighty Girl in your life is a toddler or a teen, there's something here to get everyone 'adding it up'! Continue reading

  • Ignite Her Curiosity: 25 Books Starring Science-Loving Mighty Girls

    rosie4A great way to encourage girls' interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is by sharing stories starring girls and women who love science and technology! Seeing female faces as scientists, whether in the lab or out in the field, is a powerful message to girls that these subjects are open to all. And, while introducing them to real-life women in STEM through biographies is important, fictional stories showing science-loving girls and women are another excellent way to entice girls with the unlimited possibilities before them.

    With that in mind, we're showcasing our favorite fictional books for both children and teens starring Mighty Girls who love science, engineering, and math — each in their own thematic section below. With options ranging from the fun and fanciful to the more contemplative, you're sure to discover a title to excite every budding scientist or engineer, girls and boys alike — after all, both need to learn that science is for everyone!

    If you're looking for books for children and teens about real-life female scientists, you can find dozens of titles in our Science Biographies section. And, for toys and science kits to further support her interests, check out the recommendations in our blog posts: Wrapped Up In Science: Top 40 Science Toys for Mighty Girls and Building Her Dreams: Building and Engineering Toys for Mighty Girls. Continue reading

  • Inspiring Invention: 25 Engineering, Technology, & Math Toys for Mighty Girls

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    makey-makeyFor kids who love to find out how things work: from electricity to computers to alternative energy sources, their curiosity knows no bounds. While it can seem challenging to work engineering, technology, or math into play, the truth is that there are lots of great toys available that give kids the chance to learn about engineering and technology -- all while having a great time!

    Whether you have a budding engineer on your holiday list or you just want your Mighty Girl to feel comfortable with technology, the 25 engineering, technology, and math toys featured here will no doubt encourage her interest in learning more! It’s the perfect way to encourage kids to explore these subjects in fun, creative ways.

    For our top picks of basic building toys, including more options for young children, check out our previous blog post, Putting It All Together: Top 20 Building Toys for Mighty Girls.

    For more toys for young engineers and scientists, check out the STEM section of our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide or A Mighty Girl's entire selection of Science / Math Toys.

    To learn about more of our favorite toys of all varieties for Mighty Girls, check out our Girl Empowerment Toy Blog Series or visit our 2014 Holiday Guide. Continue reading

  • Science At Play: Top 20 Science Toys for Mighty Girls

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Mighty Girl tempEvery child is a born scientist! How does my body work? Why is the sky blue? What are stars made out of? What we think of as mere curiosity is, in fact, a child’s first foray into the amazing world of science. It’s not until we make science into something serious, something that’s work, that interest starts to dim.

    Fortunately, that means that adults can choose to turn science into play and help kids sustain that curious mindset for their whole lives! In this blog, we’re highlighting some of our favorite science toys and kits for kids from toddlers to teens. From the wonders of the night sky to what happens inside our own bodies, these toys will encourage kids to explore the fascinating ways that the world around them works.

    In addition to the recommendations in this post, you can find more great science toys in the Science section of our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide or, for a much broader selection, our site's STEM Toy collection.

    You can also inspire your children with the stories of real-life women scientists such as Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, Rachel Carson, Sally Ride, and Wangari Maathai -- or, for more options, visit our science and technology book collection. Continue reading

  • Mighty Careers: I Want To Be An Engineer!

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    516ru-34lpl_1_[1]In our Mighty Careers blog series, we celebrate the careers that Mighty Girls around the world are dreaming of pursuing one day! In each blog, we provide a career role model, as well as recommendations for books, clothing, and toys to support and encourage her aspirations. Whether she’s three or thirteen, you’ll find options here to teach her more about her dream job — and help her start preparing to live it!

    In this post, we’ll talk about the Mighty Girls who dream of designing the future as engineers. From the first day your infant Mighty Girl tried to figure out how to make her stack of blocks taller, she’s been engineering; but, while numbers are rising, in most nations fewer than 12% of engineers are female. We’re betting this generation of Mighty Girls will change that, but to do so, they need all the support and encouragement we have to give!

    If you want to foster your Mighty Girl’s interest in engineering, this blog will give you the resources to do that. Whether you’re sharing stories of women engineers, tinkering with some great engineering toys, or getting her a shirt that lets her declare to everyone what she wants to be when she grows up, you’ll be letting her know that her dream can become reality.

    For more Mighty Careers posts, check out the earlier entries in the series about astronauts, wildlife biologists, and pilots. Continue reading

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