A Gift to My Daughter
When my daughter was born, like many parents, my wife and I wondered about the future our daughter would inhabit. What would the world be like? Would she be ok? What should we do to best prepare her for that world?
We’ve all heard about the threat of software and AI to eliminate jobs. We also hear that the best insurance in such an uncertain future is to develop skills in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. From the time she was a baby, we purposefully injected these into her upbringing. Not to try to force her into these fields, but to give her the widest range of options possible.
The problem was that, as I looked around in children’s books, toys, and TV shows, there was a shortage of role models depicting girls being excited about these skills and using them to do exciting things. So I started inventing my own stories, injecting them into directed playtime with her Barbie dolls. In these stories, the characters have bad-ass skills and take on challenges ranging from catching ninja spies to starting a company to manufacture electric cars.
In time, word of the stories spread among the moms and dads of my daughter’s friends. They would ask, “Have you written them down?” and “Where can I get a copy?”
This prompted me, along with my business partner, Pamela Metivier, to start a publishing company to flesh out the characters and develop the stories into a series of five children’s books. We’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of the first of these books, STEAMTeam 5: The Beginning. It’s an adventure story about five characters — Sandia Scientist, Treeka Technologist, Evelyn Engineer, Ariana Artist, and Mattie Mathematician — who use their skills to do amazing things.
But STEAMTeam 5 is much more than just a book; it’s a movement designed to get girls interested in STEM/STEAM from a very early age, and to keep them interested. We have thousands of fans from around the world (including boys — they, too, need to see girls in these roles) and our community is growing every day.
If you have children of your own, are an educator, or an advocate, please join us today. Together, we can make the idea of #girlsinSTEM a mere historical curiosity, because there will be just as many women as men in these fields.
Kickstarter campaign: Pre-order a copy now to help make this project a reality.