By Annalise Knudson
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new LEGO set which celebrates the accomplishments of women in STEM is sure to inspire children with an interest in technology.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.
Four women who made groundbreaking achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during their time at NASA are getting their own LEGO set.
LEGO announced their LEGO Ideas Women of NASA set would officially launch Wednesday; it retails for $24.99.
The 231-piece set features mini figures of four women of the U.S. space agency — astronomer and educator Nancy
Grace Roman; computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton; astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride, and astronaut, physician and engineer Mae Jemison.
Ride was the first American woman to go to space in 1983 and Jemison became the first African-American woman to go to space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992.
It includes three builds illustrating each woman’s area of expertise, such as role-play space exploration, planning the moon landing, building the Hubble Space Telescope and the Space Shuttle Challenger.
LEGO fan designer, science editor and writer Maia Weinstock presented her idea to the LEGO Ideas crowdsourcing platform where it gained support from fans and was selected for production. Weinstock’s idea was to celebrate accomplished women in STEM professions.
“In all realms of science, engineering and technology, pioneering women have historically been underappreciated for their often groundbreaking work,” Weinstock said. “We have also seen that when girls and women are given more encouragement in the STEM fields, they become more likely to pursue careers in these areas.”
The final design and set was done by LEGO designers Tara Wike and Gemma Anderson. The original proposal included five NASA women, but Katherine Johnson chose not to be part of the set. Wike visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to present the final design to Weinstock and Hamilton.
“It was a great experience to give these amazing women their new LEGO identity and a great honor to personally present Margaret Hamilton with her very own Minifigure,” said Wike. “What they have achieved is truly inspiring to me, and I hope it will inspire children to make their dreams come true.”