I love coming across examples of awesome, geeky things that do good. Here are two perfect examples:
With an engineering degree from Stanford, Debbie Sterling was tired of the boys’ club in her field. 89% of engineers are men. Debbie realized a lot of it has to do with the toys we grow up with. Toys that teach spatial relationships, geometry and building are largely targeted to boys. When they do target girls, it’s usually just by making everything pink. Debbie did some research and discovered that while boys like to build and gravitate toward the Legos, girls like to read.
So she created a toy that combines reading and building to encourage girls to develop those engineering skills. She came up with GoldieBlox, an innovative toy where girls build while reading along with a story.
She invested her life-savings developing the project and brought it to Kickstarter to find some backers. She found more than 5,000 willing partners and raised more than $285,000. GoldieBlox is going into production with an expected delivery date of April 2013.
While the Kickstarter project is over, you can still pre-order GoldieBlox.
If you’re not convinced, see what 5-year-old Riley has to say about GolideBlox. You may remember Riley as the girl who went on a rant in the toy aisle about all the pink princesses for girls, racking up more than 4 million views.
Kelvin Doe is a 15-year-old engineering whiz from Sierra Leone. The kid builds his own FM transmitters and power generators out of garbage. Electricity isn’t reliable in Sierra Leone, so Kelvin built his own battery. He broadcasts the news and music as DJ Focus and makes his own mixers with cardboard and spare parts.
Kelvin became the youngest person ever invited to MIT’s Visiting Practitioner’s Program, and had the chance to visit the U.S. and expand his skills. All sorts of opportunities are opening for him now, though this trip was the first time he’d ever been more than 10 miles from home.