Thursday, November 18, 2010

California Girl Scouts Meet "Computer Engineer Barbie"

There's no disputing the pull that Barbie has on girls. The latest Barbie was born after an online contest for girls and women to choose Barbie's 126th career. Girls voted for "news anchor" as their No. 1 choice, while women voted for "computer engineer." Silicon Valley's Mercury News reports on the launch of "Computer Engineer Barbie" at the Microsoft Mountain View campus with 30 excited Girl Scouts. "Computer Engineer Barbie" wears a T-shirt with a binary code pattern, a hot pink laptop, matching reading glasses and a Bluetooth smartphone in her ear.

Regardless, some mothers felt conflicted about taking their daughters to the event, even if it was for Girl Scouts. And a female engineer at the corporation who showed up to help the 7-year-olds work on computers to earn merit badges considers herself "kind of an anti-Barbie person" - Makes sense. However, it seems that all the dots were connected - Mattel was working with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineers to make sure that, a time when fewer than 10 percent of American engineers are women, the Barbie's goal is to encourage little girls to consider careers in engineering and science.

Other Barbie milestones include Barbie going to the moon four years before Neil Armstrong went to the moon as "Miss Astronaut Barbie" in 1965 and CEO Barbie in 1984. Barbie also ran for president 15 years before Hillary Clinton ran. Read the entire story here.

Do you think "Computer Engineer Barbie" will be a positive influence in the lives of girls?