Following the announcement of the new Robotics Engineer Barbie, Mattel revealed six coding experiences designed for children on their partner’s platform, Tynker.
Barbie has had more than 200 careers in her lifetime. Although she was an astronaut in 1965 and again in 1986, her interest in the STEM fields is more recent. And this is the first time Barbie is teaching kids about STEM with free coding lessons on Tynker.
Through six interesting careers (robotics engineer, beekeeper, astronaut, farmer, pastry chef, and musician), children can discover how programming and puzzle-solving skills help in everyday life. In each lesson, kids are introduced to one of the careers, learn coding concepts through quizzes and activities, and see how these concepts can help them achieve their career goals.Geared to kids from kindergarten to Grade 4, the lessons can be completed at home or at school with the whole class.
The “You Can Be Anything” course offered on Tynker’s platform enables kids to learn about coding at their own pace, with intuitive activities and a simple language using blocks of concepts (such as loops, movement, actions, etc.). Experimenting with code can lead to discovering a new passion, but it also fosters 21st-century skills and contributes to creativity, innovation, and confidence. Skills acquired by children while coding can be applied in other fields such as math and science. Tynker’s simplified visual approach makes it an enjoyable and engaging experience for kids.
This new robotics engineer career for the world-famous doll and the free coding lessons open a door, especially for girls, to picture themselves in STEM careers. Girls discover how important programming is in today’s world and how they can be a part of it.
To ensure Barbie’s new design would be as authentic as possible, Mattel enlisted the help of Cynthia Breazeal, a Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology (MIT) associate professor, to help create the engineer doll. STEM representation in toys introduces children to the possibility of such careers.