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Marie Curie might be one of the most famous female scientists of all time, but that doesn't mean she's the only one. Many women have found a lifetime of joy through a career in science. Unfortunately, they seem to be an exception to the rule.
Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math—STEM, for short—are all fields that are notoriously male-dominated. For years, women who have gone into these fields have felt marginalized by the Boys' Club, and at times, may have even found themselves dissuaded from continuing their careers.
Inequality in STEM has been shown to lead to poorer economic opportunities for women, lower rates of innovation, and more. It's not just a women's issue; it's a social issue on all fronts.
This has to stop, and the best way to ensure you get the best chance of it happening is to encourage girls to be at STEM from a young age. These days, toy companies are realizing the importance of getting girls into science.
Here are some of the coolest toys to get girls into science in recent years.
Magic School Bus: Chemistry Lab by Magic School Bus
Anyone who has ever read The Magic School Bus can tell you that Ms. Frizzle was the original fictional woman in STEM—or at the very least, one of the first female characters to really show how cool science can be.
This gender-neutral toy will encourage girls to be in STEM, using the fun and excitement of a real-life chemistry set. Girls will get to see the coolness that is being a lab tech using real experiments and fun notecards explaining the processes with Ms. Frizzle taking the lead.
Wee Enchanted Fairy Garden by Faber & Castell
Do you have a girl who loves Disney princesses, or just plain adores the idea of fairy tales? Don't worry, you can still encourage girly girls to be in STEM by using the right toys.
This adorable kit allows girls to learn the basics of botany, and gain an appreciation for the science associated with growing flowers. A little bit of art and a nice amount of scientific exploration makes this a great choice for younger girls.
Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine by GoldieBlox
You're going to love this!
Goldie Blox is the world's first female character who's meant to be a young engineer. Her toy line is designed to encourage girls to be in STEM by showing them that engineering isn't boring.
This cool toy set comes with a Goldie Blox book and an engineering kit that girls can put together. Girls will love Goldie, and soon enough, will learn to love STEM.
Night Light Starter Piece by LittleBits
The toy company known as littleBits was started by a female engineer who wanted to encourage girls to be in STEM careers—and as you might expect, the gender-neutral toys definitely have a lot of girl appeal to help it happen.
This cute night light set will teach girls principles of engineering and math, giving them the prize of a cute nightlight once they put things together. If you're looking to get boys and girls into STEM fields, anything from littleBits is a safe bet.
Robotics Engineer Barbie by Mattel
Admittedly, Barbie hasn't been the best role model when it comes to trying to encourage girls to be in STEM fields. The toy company has been lambasted for decades for its tendency to emphasize looks while ignoring intelligence.
Recently, Mattel's been trying to do right by STEM. The end result is a Robotics Engineer Barbie doll, which is meant to convey the fact that being a scientist doesn't make you a nerd. After all, there's still a need for science in a Barbie world.
Project Mc2 Ultimate Spa Studio by Horizon Group USA
Most teachers and parents may have heard of the Project Mc2 line of toys, stories, and videos. This line is specifically designed to encourage girls to be in STEM by creating cool characters that act as science-friendly role models for girls and offering up girl-friendly experiments they can try at home.
This is the kind of hands-on fun that girls can use to discover the fun chemistry can offer—or just start planning their future career with the IFF.
Ada Lovelace by Little Thinker
Ada Lovelace was one of the first women to go into computer science, and she made a lot of groundbreaking discoveries back in the 19th century. If your daughter is a fan of playing with dolls, you might want to give her a history lesson by gifting her Ada.
Go ahead. Tell your daughter the story of Ada Lovelace—a true Victorian rebel who went against society's belief of keeping women in poetry, and set out to change computing for the rest of history. Your daughter will thank you.
Foundation Chemistry Kit: Dozens of STEM Experiments That Take Girls Seriously by Yellow Scope
Yellow Scope is a toy company that's all about encouraging girls to be in STEM fields of all kinds—including chemistry. Their Foundation Chemistry Kit features over 19 different experiments girls can try, each with their own unique lesson.
This massive set has won multiple awards for the high quality of education it provides, and the excellent results it's offered parents who have tried to get girls excited about science. Your girls will adore it, and so will boys!
Science Fair Set by American Girl
Sometimes, the best way you can encourage girls to be in STEM is to get them toys that allow their little best friends to join in the fun. If your daughter owns an American Girl Doll, then you can have both of them explore the fun that is a science fair together!
This adorable accessory set comes with a doll-sized telescope, planetary stickers, and plenty of ideas on how you can open your daughter's eyes to the magic of science.
Girls Only! Secret Message Lab by SmartLab
Finally, if your daughter is the type of kiddo that wants to be a secret agent or the next Harriet the Spy, we have some good news for you. Multiple companies have been able to encourage girls to be in STEM by offering some super cool spy gear they can make.
One of the newest toys you can offer up your little one is the Girls Only! Secret Message Lab. You might know how to make that invisible ink appear, but that doesn't mean you should peek!