This Awesome Ad, Set to the Beastie Boys, Is How to Get Girls to Become Engineers

What Women Really Think
Nov. 19 2013 12:58 PM

This Awesome Ad, Set to the Beastie Boys, Is How to Get Girls to Become Engineers

This is a stupendously awesome commercial from a toy company called GoldieBlox, which has developed a set of interactive books and games to “disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.” The CEO, Debbie Sterling, studied engineering at Stanford, where she was dismayed by the lack of women in her program. (For a long look at the Gordian knot that is women’s underrepresentation in STEM fields, check out this New York Times article from October.) As the GoldieBlox website attests, only 11 percent of the world’s engineers are female. Sterling wants to light girls’ inventive spark early, supplementing the usual diet of glittery princess products with construction toys “from a female perspective.”

We love this video because it subverts a bunch of dumb gender stereotypes—all to the strains of a repurposed Beastie Boys song. In it, a trio of smart girls could not be less impressed by the flouncing beauty queens in the commercial they’re watching. So they use a motley collection of toys and household items (including a magenta feather boa and a pink plastic tea set) to assemble a huge Rube Goldberg machine. Watch to see what happens next. (And watch another great GoldieBlox ad from earlier this year.)

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Bonus points to GoldieBlox for releasing an award-winning book in which its marquee character Goldie, the “kid inventor who loves to build,” dreams up “a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail.” Screw you, Soul Cycle. That’s the kind of spinning machine we can get behind. 

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Katy Waldman is a Slate assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter.