It鈥檚 no secret that women are the minority in fields like engineering and computer science, but Lyssa Neel is trying to change that.聽Inspired by her own three daughters (and her computer science background), she set out to create a fun,聽wearable and electronic聽toy that teaches kids to program.

Linkitz is made up of electronic blocks that can be taken apart and snapped together. It will buzz and blink when the pieces are rearranged, teaching the user how to program in a new and exciting way.聽The toy will also have a social element, which is one of the most appealing features to young girls who love to socialize with friends. It鈥檚 fun, age-appropriate and undoubtedly educational鈥 but most of all, it shows tween girls that math and science are hardly boring.

While Linkitz is a gender-neutral product, Neel created it to promote women engineers of the next generation. After all, she was the 10th woman at MIT to earn a PhD in computer science! It was important for Neel to create something that her daughters will not only like, but actually choose to play with.

Linkitz isn鈥檛 the first toy company to promote young female engineers.聽GoldieBlox聽and聽Roominate聽are girl-centric toys that are already on the market. Microsoft offers a program called聽DigiGirlz Day聽that targets high school girls and educates them about careers in tech.聽Even聽Barbie聽is gettin鈥 in on the fun! Hopefully, we鈥檒l be seeing plenty more girl power gadgets in the near future.

We all know that the youngest minds are the easiest to mold. Linkitz could change the way we teach (and learn), which will change the future of our workforce. We don鈥檛 know about you guys, but we鈥檇 love to see more women in the tech field. If everyone under the age of 13 got their hands on this toy, we could be looking at an extremely bright generation who will already know how to program before they hit high school. That鈥檚 pretty impressive, if you ask us.

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