Robotic Engineer Barbie is the Newest Entry in the Market, Encourages Young Girls to Choose Careers in STEM

Barbie, over the years, has gone under several career transformations – from firefighters, nurse to astronaut and even president. Barbie is now venturing into coding skills as a robotics engineer. The new doll launched by Mattel on Tuesday aims to encourage girls as young as seven to learn coding skills in partnership with the kid’s game-based computing platform Tynker. According to People, only 12% of the field’s employees are women. The new doll is meant to show girls they can begin pursuing a career in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – at a young age.

Robotics engineer Barbie, dressed in jeans, a graphic T-shirt, denim jacket and wearing safety glasses, comes with six free Barbie-inspired coding lessons designed to teach logic, problem-solving and the building blocks of coding. For example, how to build robots, get them to move at a dance party or do jumping jacks. The doll is priced at 14 dollars and is available in four skin tones.

Women account for only 24% of STEM workers in the US, according to a 2017 report from the Department of Commerce. Lisa McKnight, Barbie’s global general manager, and senior vice president told People, “For almost 60 years, Barbie has exposed girls to roles where women are underrepresented to show them that they can be anything. By playing with Robotics Engineer Barbie on and offline, we are giving girls a new platform for play in their imaginary world and teaching them important skills for their real world.”

Tynker co-founder Krishna Vedati said in a statement that the company’s mission to empower youth worldwide made Barbie an ideal partner to help us introduce programming to a large number of kids in a fun engaging way.

This article originally appeared on Latestly.

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