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

    It 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 our favorite building and engineering toys for kids from toddlers to teens in this blog post, with classic building toys featured in the first part and engineering sets featured in the final section. Whether they are interested in building with 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 Science Toys for Mighty Girls.
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  • Dr. Frances Arnold, who pioneered the field of "directed evolution," became the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Dr. Frances Arnold has just been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the field of "directed evolution"  —  becoming the first American woman in history and the fifth woman overall to be honored.  The method she developed of engineering enzymes that mimic the process of natural selection has created a revolutionary new way for scientists and engineers to design more environmentally-friendly industrial processes. It's now being used in laboratories around the world to develop enzymes that can replace toxic compounds in everything from medicines to biofuels to laundry detergents. “My entire career I have been concerned about the damage we are doing to the planet and each other,” she says. “Change is easier when there are good, economically viable alternatives to harmful habits.” Continue reading Continue reading

  • The best books about girls and women who love science and invention!

    We don't always think about it, but every child is a scientist! From the moment she pushes a spoon off her high chair to see what happens or starts asking, "why?" to everything, she's started on a long and exciting lifetime of discovery. As time goes on, though, kids can be discouraged from this natural interest and come to believe that science is too complicated for kids -- so it's especially important to nurture that spirit of curiosity from a young age!

    One great way to encourage a child's interest in science is by showing them role models of kids — particularly girls — in STEM fields. In fictional stories, they can see faces that match their own: kids who are turning their ingenious minds to investigating questions and solving problems using the scientific method. And, through non-fiction, they can learn about curious children just like them who grew up to make amazing scientific discoveries.

    To that end, in this blog post, we've shared many of our favorite books about girls and women who love science, engineering, and math! In the first part of the post, you can discover many fictional stories about curious, inventive Mighty Girls, while in the second part, you'll find many inspiring books about real-life female scientists. From beautifully illustrated picture books to fascinating teen biographies, these titles show the importance of scientific curiosity and celebrate the scientific progress that we owe to women in science both past and present. They're the perfect choice to inspire the budding scientist on your gift list!

    And, for science toys and kits to further support her interests, we've shared many recommendations in two blog posts, Wrapped Up In Science: Top Science Toys for Mighty Girls and Building Her Dreams: Building and Engineering Toys for Mighty Girls.   Continue reading Continue reading

  • From Wi-Fi to Kevlar: Twenty Female Inventors Who Changed the World!

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    Around the world and across history, innovative women have imagined, developed, tested, and perfected their creations, and yet most of us would be hard pressed to name even a single woman inventor. In fact, women inventors are behind many of the products and technologies used every day! From life rafts to disposable diapers to rocket fuel, women have invented amazing things — but they're also responsible for some of the things we use for day to day life. In fact, if you use GPS on your cell phone, turn on windshield wipers when you drive in the rain, or eat a chocolate chip cookie, you can thank the woman behind them!

    In honor of the remarkable women whose breakthroughs have advanced technology and the ease of our day to day lives, we're sharing the stories of twenty ingenious women whose inventions have changed the world. Whether they were scribbling designs two centuries ago or are still working today, these clever creators deserve to have their stories told. We've also included a few stories of modern-day Mighty Girls who have taken up the challenge of becoming the inventors of today — and tomorrow.

    If you'd like to learn more about any of the featured women or introduce them to children and teens, where possible we're also sharing reading recommendations for both children and adults, as well as other resources that celebrate these innovative women. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of science, math, and programming toys for curious Mighty Girls from toddlers to teens.

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    Kids are full of curiosity about how the world works, so why not give them a way to better explore it? With a high-quality science kit or toy, kids can incorporate the wonder of the everyday world into their play. In fact, it's amazing how much they can learn that way!

    In this blog post, you'll find our favorite science, math, and programming toys and kits for curious kids of all ages. Whether you know a would-be star-gazer, a budding biologist, or an eager young robotics specialist, there are options here that will fascinate them. And who knows? Play alongside them and you might just learn something new too.

    For books starring girls and women who love science, check out our blog posts: Ignite Her Curiosity: 25 Books Starring Science-Loving Mighty Girls and Those Who Dared To Discover: 15 Women Scientists You Should Know. And, for more fun STEM-related toys and kits, visit our Science & Math Toy Collection.
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  • 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 Continue reading

  • 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 Continue reading

  • 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 Continue reading

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