Friday, July 31, 2009

Edison's Mother, Part 2

In June and July, Iris attended a Center for Talented Youth summer program. She chose the inventions class. She had a blast. Here she is with her "Tri-bench", which combines the stability of a three-legged stool with a longer bench seat. This is just a prototype. She envisions a longer one suitable for sharing with friends if it were to go into production. She made it out of plumbing parts and a piece of lumber.For her final project, she made the "Server 3000". I had no idea why she called it that until someone pointed out the reference to Mystery Science Theater 3000. She had watched it with Bad Dad. It actually worked.
We had the foresight to use diet soda so spills wouldn't leave a sticky ant-attracting mess. However, we forgot to bring dishcloths or paper towels.

Look how inventively the Data and Chance class used a Barbie doll!
After the camp, Iris went to a sleepover at the house of one of the girls she met at camp. They went shopping at a big box toy store for a birthday present for another one of their classmates. It was Iris' first time to explore the place. (We went a few times when she was a toddler, but she doesn't remember.) It was interesting to wander the aisles with them.

Lego knows they have a girl problem. But I don't think a pink box and a horse on the front is going to be a magic bullet. If you work for Lego, email me for marketing research!
Read why she chose inventions class above all other offerings in Edison's mother.


  1. Hi Grace! I have to chime in to share the disappointment with Lego - I am feeling very disillusioned by the way their marketing and product development becomes so heavily gendered past the age of five or so. Someone just isn't getting it.

  2. I wonder if I should write Lego and send pictures of Iris playing with their stuff? Mr B, of Mr B's Bricks, says that girls do just fine with the Lego dacta kits. Pulleys and levers (and Physics) are not gendered.

    The story line kits are incredibly sexist. We tried to find one of those agent kits with a female character for Iris. Unfortunately, only one of them had a female character and she was screaming b/c she was the damsel in distress that the male characters were supposed to rescue. Geez.

    Changing the color scheme to monochromatic gray and black didn't help, either. Remember the brightly colored (but not gendered colors) wild things line? We loved those. Now why did they cancel those and replace them with gray and more gray?

  3. Wow I'm reading your old blog posts and I actually have no idea what the Mystery Science Theater 3000 is? It's just a stereotype in fiction that machines have some multiple of 1000 on the end of their names.

    The thing about the pink boxes is that they also contained pink /blocks/, which let me add a feminine touch to my robots and spaceships. I miss those looking at the modern LEGO Friends(exist crap). (one of the acadec speeches this year is on gendered marketing btw)