The long trail to becoming a maker girl
By DAVID MUNRO
Over the years, plenty of people have been thinking about how to get more girls into the innovation game. Here are a few, select examples of what they’ve learned:
- Make Magazine: https://makezine.com/
The maker movement Bible.
- Gever Tulley TED talk, Life Lessons Through Tinkering: https://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_s_tinkering_school_in_action
The former head of Adobe innovation group, Gever Tulley founded Tinkering School and more recently Brightworks, a K-12 alternative school in SF; also author of 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Child Do: https://www.fiftydangerousthings.com/
- Brightworks School https://www.sfbrightworks.org/
The school puts it this way: “We use real tools, real materials, and real problems to encourage students’ love of learning, curiosity about the world, ability to engage, tenacity to think big, and persistence to do amazing things.”
- Making Matters: https://www.weareteachers.com/making-matters-how-the-maker-movement-is-transforming-education/
A good primer on how the maker movement is transforming education.
- The Art of Tinkering: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Art-of-Tinkering/Karen-Wilkinson/9781616286095
co-authored by Karen Wilkinson of The Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio.
- The Shortage of Women in STEM explained: https://www.fastcompany.com/3037593/strong-female-lead/the-shortage-of-women-in-stem-explained
A good overview piece in Fast Company
- How Did LEGO become a Gender Battleground? http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28660069
A BBC article on blowback from LEGO “friends”
- The Theory of Loose Parts: https://littleworldsbigadventures.com/theory-of-loose-parts/
A tinker-influential paper from 1971 reacting against toys that are “finished” and leave no room for children’s imaginations.
- Territorio do Brincar: http://territoriodobrincar.com.br/longa-metragem-territorio-do-brincar/
This trailer for a beautiful Brazilian film celebrates pure play – kids in rural/poor areas who’ve constructed amazing ‘toys’ from whatever is at hand.
- Toys More Gendered Now than 50 yrs Ago:
Atlantic piece written by Davis developmental psychologist professor.
- Let Toys Be Toys & Pink Stinks: http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk//, http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/tvads/ & https://pinkstinks.wordpress.com/
Two UK advocacy groups fight the over-gendering of toys and its limiting effects.
- Dolls for Girls, Science for Boys: https://www.salon.com/2013/05/03/dolls_for_girls_science_and_legos_for_boys_the_toy_aisle_is_still_sexist/
Salon piece on toy sexism
- How Toy ad Vocabulary reinforces stereotypes: http://www.achilleseffect.com/2011/03/word-cloud-how-toy-ad-vocabulary-reinforces-gender-stereotypes/%23
This interesting study shows word clouds taken from boy/girl toy ads and how stark the differences are.
- Could a Woman Macgyver get more girls interested in engineering? https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2015/0219/Could-a-new-MacGyver-a-woman-get-more-people-interested-in-engineering
The creator of ABC’s ‘MacGyver’ series, along with the National Academy of Engineering and USC engineers, are inviting the public to crowd-source ideas for a ‘Next MacGyver’ project designed for women.
- Not Your Father’s STEM Job: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/this-is-not-your-fathers-stem-job/359684/
An article from The Atlantic on women taking different routes outside the rigid STEM pipeline.