In tech alone, Australia will need another 100,000 workers over the next five years. In fact, all the STEM fields are growing exponentially. But at the current rates, our number of professionals entering STEM can't sustain this demand. If only there was an untapped market. Oh wait...
We simply can't justify having so few women in technical roles. Gender-based stereotypes that occur from a young age play a big role in the lack of women in STEM.
So this Christmas, instead of visiting the pink aisle for your Christmas gifts, we’ve come up with a list of gifts for girls to inspire the next Ada Lovelace or Marie Currie to realise her potential. As Melinda Gates said, “Right now, there’s a girl out there whose ideas will change the world. It’s time everyone starts seeing her that way…and starts recognising that the next Bill Gates might not look anything like the last one.”
1. KiwiCo Subscription Boxes > Ages 0-16+
KiwiCo offers offers a range of gift ideas for your budding scientist, whether they’re a newborn or in their teens - KiwiCo has options for all ages. It’s the present that keeps on giving with a monthly subscription - you choose the age group and duration and they will receive a STEM based project to complete each month. If the subscription isn’t quite the ticket, there are a range of science, art and chemistry packs.
2. LittleBits > Ages 8+
Whether you have a disney lover, a musical prodigy, or a budding coder on your present list, LittleBits has a range of options perfect for tomorrow’s change makers!
These fun and interactive kits are the perfect way to get young ones building and igniting their passion for STEAM.
3. A Galaxy of Her Own
A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.
From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars, A Galaxy of Her Own reveals extraordinary stories, champions unsung heroes and celebrates remarkable achievements from around the world.
4. Fisher Price Think and Learn Code A Pillar > Ages preschool+
Encourages STEM learning by helping kids discover basics of coding such as using if/then combinations. Each segment on the code-a-pillar lights up and it has a motorized head that has lights, sounds, and blinking eyes. Kids are challenged to figure out the proper segment order to get to specific targets that you lay out on the floor, and when doing it, they’ll have a blast while learning a basic foundation of coding.
5. Harry Potter Coding Kit > Ages 6+
A guaranteed hit for Harry Potter fans! This kit guides budding coders to build an actual
wand which responds to their movements. Kids will then will learn to code by working through over 70 creative challenges.
6. Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Where electronics and coding meeting! The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-size microcomputer board.
What makes Raspberry Pi special is the fact you not only can do all the things you can do with a regular computer like web browsing, editing documents, coding and playing games but there is also one special feature (general purpose input output pins) lets you interact with the real world allowing you to build great electronics projects.
7. Blue Light Glasses
Put simply, our eyes weren’t meant to stare at a computer screen all day! This can result in harmful effects can including eye strain. One option is to reduce digital eye strain with blue lens glasses that can reduce glare and harmful blue violet light. There are many many providers, including Baxter Blue, who provide stylish options for both kids and adults.
8. Rhodia Black Dot Pad
Encourage kids to spend some time away from the computer and flex their coding muscles using their creative talents. This notebook is the perfect tool to get kids back to basics and draw wireframes or UIs, designs for their websites, or flow charts of their program’s logic.
9. Hello Ruby Book Series
Ruby introduces young readers to the magical world of technology, computing and coding! Created by Linda Luikas, a developer in Finland. Through the books, kids are introduced to the basic concepts of coding through storytelling.
Once you have your little one hooked, head over to the Hello Ruby website where you’ll find a range of resources to continue your coding journey.
10. Barbie Astronaut and Space Scientist Dolls > Ages 3+
Defy gender stereotypes young and encourage an interest in STEM professions with Astronaut and Space Scientist Barbie.
Want to be part of building a better world and driving gender diversity in tech in Australia?