STEM women—that is, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—rejoice.
LEGO Corporation has unveiled a trio of female scientists that will be available August 2014, the company announced this week.
The minifigure set—part of the “Research Institute” series—will include a female paleontologist, astronomer, and a chemist. Each of the figures have their own equipments, like a chemistry lab, a telescope, and a dinosaur skeleton.
Here’s the official announcement:
Anyone can submit their ideas for a new set to the LEGO Ideas platform. Projects that get 10,000 votes will be reviewed by the company.
Dr. Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist from Stockholm, proposed the idea of female STEM minifigures to the company. Her proposal advocated that professional LEGO figurines could “show that girls can become anything they want, including a paleontologist or an astronomer.”
“This awesome model is an inspiring set that offers a lot for kids as well as adults,” the company wrote on their blog.
LEGOs have historically been more appealing to boys. But that’s perhaps because some girls haven’t been able to relate to the toys.
In 2012, LEGO released their “Lego Friends” series, where the female minifigures were designed in trendy outfits and accessories to go shopping, do housework, style hair, and bake.
A letter written by a 7-year-old girl to the toy maker in January 2014 that went viral criticized LEGO for having more boy figures than girls, and that she didn’t like the “Friends” series.
“All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop … the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs, even swam with sharks,” Charlotte Benjamin wrote in her handwritten note.
“I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun. OK!??”
Lego responded to Benjamin’s note in a public statement saying, “we have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build.”
LEGO already released one female scientist in their December 2013 Minifigure Series 11. But it’s reassuring to know that more have joined the ranks.
Welcome to the LEGO universe, female scientists. You have (finally) arrived.