By Jennifer Perrow, originally published on Parentology July 20, 2019
Take a trip to the toy section of just about any store and you’ll notice definite gender segregation. However, a closer look reveals many of these toys are becoming more similar. The reason? STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math specialties) and the recent focus on creating a more gender-equal workforce.
STEM-related careers are typically among the highest–paid. The underrepresentation of women in these fields is a significant factor in the gender pay gap. However, enrollment in STEM degree programs continues to be dominated by men. In 2017, only 37 percent of all STEM degrees in the US were earned by women.
The Tides Are Changing
For years, it was believed the overwhelming representation of men in STEM careers was due to males having a stronger aptitude for math and science. It’s now been proven there’s virtually no gender difference in aptitude. So what’s to blame? Turns out, gender stereotyping plays a significant role.
Research shows beliefs regarding which subjects are targeted towards certain genders strongly influences an individual’s basic interests and career choices. This is especially alarming when considering these beliefs are formed as early as the age of six.
In a recent study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), it was determined women and minorities who perform well in STEM courses in high school, choose STEM majors in college, or enter the STEM workforce after college graduation, possess a strong “science identity” that was nurtured over their lifetime.
Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, who led the NSF study, tells Parentology, “Women [in the study] traced their STEM career choices to early exposure to such toys and childhood play that expanded their knowledge of the world, developed their motor skills, and fostered their cognitive, emotional, and social development.”
Strayhorn continues, “My participants consistently talked about growing up with ‘cool gadgets’ or ‘techie toys’ that seemed to nurture creativity, encourage experimentation, and inspire wonder about the world and how it works. In some cases, my young, would-be scientists/engineers would break a toy, then challenge themselves to put it back together again.”
What’s to Be Done?
Historically, male-targeted toys, such as erector sets and LEGO kits, have been more STEM-focused. Even action figures have tended to be grounded in the world of science fiction. Girls, on the other hand, were being marketed Barbies, baby dolls, and tea sets.
Today, toy manufacturers have taken heed and are making changes. LEGO has introduced a line geared specifically toward girls, including their Flower Gears sets. Mattel formed a Barbie Global Advisory Council of 12 experts in STEM, culture and identity to assist with product development.
Additionally — new companies, among them GoldieBlox and STEM Girls Books — are popping up to meet the demand of STEM toys.
Have a daughter and want to make sure her future is wide open? Knock down the gender walls when shopping in the toy aisle.
By Zak Parker, originally published on Fupping April 20, 2019
Space, the final frontier, the frontier to adventure that still holds our collective imagination as adults to this day. We just don’t know what’s out there! It’s so exciting to speculate about it! If you think that’s funny for you, for a kid it would be thousand-fold funnier.
The natural sense of wonder and adventure of kids is always wildly stimulated by their imagination working out what just might be out there and how they could be the one who finds out. Put the kids to dream about the stars again with these books about space.
#2 Sophie and the Airplane by Kristi Grigsby
Sophie’s a dreamer who loves airplanes and doesn’t take no for an answer. Her adorable spunk takes young girls on a journey to discover the exciting world of aerospace!
Sophie and the Airplane is part of the STEM Girls Books series, a picture book series designed to introduce little girls (ages 3-8) to the big possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math.
Each story shows how a child’s curiosity and natural interests can lead to exciting career possibilities. At the end of each story, readers meet a role model – a professional woman succeeding in the STEM fields – who shares words of encouragement and more insight into her career.
See the full "10 Great Books About Space for Kids" on Fupping.
By Melissa Taylor, originally published on Imagination Soup January 31, 2019. Excerpt below.
I’ve been holding onto a stack of new STEM books and can’t wait to share them with you today. These will be books you can use in the classroom to introduce concepts like simple machines, matter, and more.
Zelda the Curious by Kristi Grigsby, illustrated by Brian Maikisch
Zelda is a curious girl who likes to tinker. This can sometimes be good or disastrous but it’s all part of her process. Her daily life is meant to be an introduction to mechanical engineering.
Chelsea Discovers Chemistry by Kristi Grigsby, illustrated by Kayla Irizarry
SCIENCE – CHEMISTRY
...realistic real-world problems (cookies and makeup) which Chelsea uses trial and error to solve.
Read the full list of New STEM Books for Grades K-3 on Imagination Soup.
By Lydia Rueger, originally published September 25, 2018
October, to me, is the month that fosters creativity like no other. I love seeing how parents work with their kids to turn ordinary cardboard boxes into Minecraft creepers or umbrellas and pieces of fabric into Pac-Man ghosts. There are pumpkin carvings and paintings, corn-husk-and-falling-leaf decorations galore, and art-gallery-worthy Halloween makeup everywhere you look. In honor of all the hardworking creative souls that rise each October, here are some books to inspire young creators.
#8 STEM Girls Books series by Kristi Grigsby (Sophie and the Airplane, Zelda the Curious, Chelsea Discovers Chemistry)
Read the full article and see all 32 recommended books.
STEM Girls Books’ Sophie and the Airplane Wins Book Excellence Award in Children’s Inspirational/Motivational Category
STEM Girls Books is proud to announce that our first book on aerospace, Sophie and the Airplane, has been honored with a 2018 Book Excellence Award for the Best Children’s Inspirational/Motivational book. Award-winning titles are chosen based on their design, layout, writing quality and overall market appeal.
The Book Excellence Awards is an international book awards competition founded by Literary Excellence Incorporated. Dedicated to providing authors and publishers with the opportunity to showcase their books on a global platform, the annual competition receives hundreds of entries from around the world. Read the official press release here.
The award-winning team behind Sophie and the Airplane includes author Kristi Grigsby and illustrator Sara Kuba. Sophie and the Airplane, along with the entire STEM Girls Books series, is available for purchase on Amazon. Learn more about the STEM Girls Books series at www.STEMGirlsBooks.com.
Originally published on Vivify's STEM Resource Reviews for the Classroom and at Home June 19, 2018
Are you looking to add to your kid's summer reading list? Need new educational books for your classroom? Whether you will be reading to little ones, recommending books for teens, or diving into books as an adult, there are a multitude of STEM books on the market to suit any interest. We listed some of our favorite STEM books and book series below for you to read this summer or any time of the year.
Elementary STEM Book Series
View the full article on Vivify.
STEM Girls Books is proud to announce that its first book on engineering, Zelda the Curious, has been named a finalist for the 12th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA), honored among just four finalists in the Picture Books, Ages 4-8 category.
NIEA is a champion of self-publishers and the small or independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. Established in 2007, the NIEA competition is judged by experts from all facets of the book industry including publishers, writers, editors, book designers and professional copywriters.
Said NIEA Founder, Ellen Reid, in a published statement, "We are proud to announce this year’s award-winning books as they embody the excellence this award was created to celebrate. We salute you all for such fine work!"
Authored by Kristi Grigsby and illustrated by Brian Maikisch, Zelda the Curious is available for purchase on Amazon. Learn more about the STEM Girls Books series at www.STEMGirlsBooks.com.
Sophie and the Airplane was chosen as a 2017 Official Selection in the Children’s Inspirational category of the New Apple Literary Services Annual Book Awards. Part of the STEM Girls Books series, Sophie and the Airplane introduces young readers to the field of aerospace and its amazing wonders yet to be discovered.
New Apple's Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing were established in 2013 “to honor the creative achievements of the unsung indie and self-published books that are so often lost among the multitude of releases.”
Authored by Kristi Grigsby and illustrated by Sara Kuba, Sophie and the Airplane is available for purchase on Amazon. Learn more about the STEM Girls Books series at www.STEMGirlsBooks.com.
By Mariah Loeber, originally published on FemSTEM February 22, 2018.
Every day there is more and more encouragement on the internet and other forms of media for girls to get into STEM fields and to thrive in them. From shows on PBS, to Twitter threads and Facebook groups, and lots and lots of news stories about girls thriving in STEM in order to encourage other girls to get into STEM.
This …might be a cause of some anxiety for some parents depending on some things.
What if she’s just not interested in STEM?
The fact is, we should all be interested in STEM to some degree. Not only will some interest help us get through our schooling (if I had more of an interest in Math, it would have helped me a ton), but there’s something we need to face. STEM is in our every day lives, whether we like it or not. Without STEM there would be no computers, or smart phones, or televisions. Without STEM there wouldn’t be the plants outside, or the pets within our houses! We wouldn’t even have our homes, if you think about it! Construction takes a lot of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math!
If we don’t have an interest in STEM at all, we don’t have an interest in a lot of life. Without you even realizing it, some of your interests (if not most of your interests) are going to be linked in STEM. This is also true for your daughters (and sons, of course).
Another fact: Truthfully? Though we might not have a career in it, we all are scientists.
Something to consider might be: is she not interested in STEM, or has she just not been exposed to it enough?
There’s lots of ways to expose your girls to STEM that make it fun and enjoyable for them. More and more books about STEM are coming out for younger ages, and more and more programs exist to get girls into STEM.
Here are a few for your viewing pleasure*:
#GirlsWhoCode - A national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.
STEM Girls Books - A company in development with three picture books coming out around Summer of 2017.
Women in Science the Card Game - An original, fun and educational card game that includes 44 different women for your children to learn about! Plus an expansion pack!
STEMBox - A monthly subscription box that sends science experiments to your door.
Beyond Curie Posters - A slew of posters of women scientists. Perfect for a classroom, or a bedroom!
Sasha Tech Savvy Loves to Code - A children’s book that hasn’t been released yet, but should come out soon!
Launch Ladies - Another children’s book (for very little ones) that will be released soon about Women in Space.
But Here’s the Bottom Line:
There should be NO PRESSURE for your child to have a career in STEM. Everyone is different, everyone has different interests, and not everyone wants to be a scientist for a living. That’s okay — of course it is. There’s been a bigger push for women to come into science lately, but that’s because there’s a lot of opportunity there and everyone should know that this is an option for them if they want to go that route.
But if they don’t — that’s of course okay.
We’re going to continue to encourage girls to be interested in STEM, but there’s no pressure.
We are honored that STEM Girls Books and our founder, Kristi Grigsby, are included in this summary of "modern day heroes" making new inventions for women.
Originally published on December 26, 2017 on YourTango.com.
By Sloane Solomon, Editor
Modern day heroes.
Female entrepreneurs are hardly a new thing. For years, women have taken their ideas out into the business world hoping to change the world one innovation at a time.
You're probably familiar with a few of them, like Yahoo's Marissa Mayer or Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg. But there are many other lesser-known women who continually bring fresh ideas to the table, especially ones that will benefit other women.
These women have ignored the status quo and obstacles presented to them and persevered regardless. They're also seeking to make our world a better, safer place for all females.
Here are some female entrepreneurs who are out to make a difference in the world with their badass inventions and rocking the business world while they're at it.
1. Kristi Grigsby
Kristi Grigsby is the author and founder of STEM Girls Books. Her company's purpose is to bring more resources to girls who are interested in math and science. Kristi is a successful marketing executive who also has a passion for children's books as well as being a mother to two young girls. She was inspired to create this company after discovering how little resources there were for young girls who were interested in STEM.
The company officially launched in January 2017 and three books have already been published. The coolest part of this invention is that it lets girls have accessibility to these learning tools at a very young age. The picture books are designed for girls starting at ages 3-8 and allow them to discover more about their curiosity towards these subjects while encouraging them to take these opportunities and careers later in their lives. Kristi is definitely making sure that the little ones dream big!
Read the full story and meet the rest of the female entrepreneurs featured at yourtango.com.