It’s no secret that women are the minority in fields like engineering and computer science, but Lyssa Neel is trying to change that. Inspired by her own three daughters (and her computer science background), she set out to create a fun, wearable and electronic 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. 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’s fun, age-appropriate and undoubtedly educational… 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’t the first toy company to promote young female engineers. GoldieBlox and Roominate are girl-centric toys that are already on the market. Microsoft offers a program called DigiGirlz Day that targets high school girls and educates them about careers in tech. Even Barbie is gettin’ in on the fun! Hopefully, we’ll 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’t know about you guys, but we’d 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’s pretty impressive, if you ask us.