Getting girls into STEAM* activities has been a big deal in the last few years. GoldieBlox is an engineering construction set based on fairy-tale-esque stories that launched on Kickstarter in 2012. The story portion presents a problem that kids can solve using the brightly colored construction pieces (much like Tinker Toys, but bright pink and yellow). The GoldieBlox brand has grown to include books, clothing, action figures, and tons of construction sets for all ages. To encourage girls (well, all kids) to “hack their world” a bit, GoldieBlox has released two new live-action weekly video series on YouTube. There are nine of the videos in total, so grab your kids and watch a few!
Hack Along DIY’s With Goldie
The first series features a blond-haired perky tween that resembles the epotymous GoldieBlox character. The “hacks” range from adding features to existing products to decorating tips to making icecream. Each video has several projects, so if one ‘hack’ doesn’t seem interesting another might catch a kid’s attention. Fair warning: she uses a LOT of gitter.
There are a few projects that require some adult assistance such as cutting metal or wiring up batteries. The videos aren’t the best at explaining the steps for the adults or going slow enough to see what’s happening–that would be boring. Instead, they focus on the fun parts of the activity that a kid could do alone. (This leaves a HUGE opening for some industrious parents and kids to make their own videos with more depth!)
Scrappy Robots with Simone Giertz
Simone Giertz is a YouTube sensation that has appeared on The Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert and is now part of the Tested crew with Adam Savage. Her original robot videos are not exactly kid-friendly (there was a lot of bleeping on the Tonight Show), so I was SUPER EXCITED to find that she was doing a series aimed straight at kids!
The videos focus much more on Simone’s funny personality and adventures than any single project or skill. The “Tools!” episode is a great introduction to a variety of tools in general, though parents should be prepared to explain a few more details than what Simone provides. Overall it is a fantastic introduction to topics and a perfect intro for longer conversations between parents and kids!
Check out the video series and let us know what you think in the comments. Did your kids like them? Have you done one of the projects? If you do, please film it and post the link!!
*STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math