Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved doing arts and crafts projects. I’ll never forget the homemade Halloween costume I crafted when I was in 2nd grade with my two best friends. It was a 3-part Chinese dragon costume that we spent weeks designing and decorating from scratch. I was the glorious tail.
Our costume was ambitious. After all, we didn’t want to dress ourselves up as some lame, ordinary dragon. We wanted wings that could flap, a tail that could move, and a mouth that could open and close, breathe fire and collect candy, of course. All of these things required mechanisms that we designed ourselves out of cardboard and string, and then blinged out with glitter and puffy paint.
To this day I am still so proud of that dragon. As a 2nd grader, I had no idea that what I had enjoyed doing so much was mechanical engineering! Had I known that, I certainly wouldn’t have been so dumbfounded years later when my high school math teacher encouraged me to pursue engineering in college. “Why would a creative, artistic girl like me ever want to drive trains?” I thought.
Fast-forward to today, and arts and crafts remain one of the most popular pastimes for kids 6-12 (especially girls). Craft videos are all the rage on YouTube, with billions of views on projects ranging from DIY room décor to edible school supplies to homemade squishies to slime.
Many of these popular projects have real STEM learning potential. Take slime, for example. There are millions of kids around the globe destroying their parents’ kitchens to concoct the gooey substance. But how many of these kids realize that what they love doing so much is rooted in chemistry and materials science?
That’s where GoldieBlox comes in.
Over the past year and a half, we’ve been sneaking STEM education into popular arts and crafts projects on our weekly YouTube show, “Hack Along with Goldie”. The show has become a hit, racking up over 600,000 subscribers of kids who are getting a fun and creative introduction to STEM learning with cool projects they’re excited to make at home.
Today, I am proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with Random House to launch an activity book with over 30 of the most popular projects from our “Hack Along with Goldie” show. From slime that changes colors to recycled soda bottle lights, each fun project is easy to make with common household materials. Readers can refer to our YouTube channel for step-by-step video instructions from Goldie herself. What’s more, each project contains an educational lesson, developed by Random House and GoldieBlox’s team of curriculum experts, to provide that little spark that could help lead to a lifelong curiosity and passion for STEM.
We live in a world that is changing so quickly by technology, many of the jobs and opportunities that will be available to our kids when they grow up probably don’t even exist yet. But arming our kids with an interest and confidence in STEM fields is incredibly important to help them be ready for whatever the future holds.
Meeting kids where they’re at and using arts & crafts as a fun and creative gateway to learning these important STEM educational concepts is a big step in the right direction. Take it from me, an arts and crafts girl turned engineer turned CEO, when you start making things, you start believing in yourself.