Joguines per formar enginyeres, no princeses

En un mundo de princesas consumido por la mercadotecnia es posible romper el paradigma que envuelve este tipo de prácticas. Conoce que juguetes están haciendo algo por lograrlo

Hipertextual 24 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2014

(…)Los pasillos de juguetes en los supermercados están pintados por el color rosa de las cajas de muñecas y coronas de princesas dispuestas en los aparadores. Disney y Barbie son los principales culpables por ello, pues son quienes nos venden el prototipo de niñas y mujeres que debemos ser. Mujeres que esperan por el príncipe azul que llegue a salvarlas y les de su primer beso de amor; mujeres con cuerpos perfectos — e irreales — y de belleza soñada que pasan la vida yendo de compras o de vacaciones por la playa. (…)

En el mercado existen muchas alternativas de juguetes que estimulan el desarrollo cognitivo de los peques, que potencian sus habilidades psicomotoras (o psicomotrices) y que les ayudan a desarrollar ciertas competencias para la vida. En ese sentido, la lista que a continuación te presentamos hace referencia a proyectos desarrollados especialmente para ayudar a las chicas a involucrarse más en los ámbitos científicos y tecnológicos.

Goldie Blox

Juguetes para formar ingenieras, no princesas

“Nuestro objetivo es interrumpir el pasillo color rosa e inspirar a la próxima generación de mujeres ingenieras.” Debbie Sterling es una ingeniera mecánica graduada de Stanford en diseño de productos fundadora de Goldie Blox, empresa dedicada a la venta de kits de construcción para niñas de 4 a 9 años. Los bloques de construcción vienen acompañados de un pequeño libro en el que Goldie, una chica que viste cinturón de herramientas ayuda a resolver los problemas de construcción ambientados en el libro.

Goldie Blox incorpora ruedas, ejes, bisagras, palancas, poleas y engranajes para crear asombrosos proyectos y estimular la creatividad de las niñas. En el futuro es posible que se agreguen también motores, circuitos y programación.

Kano

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Después del boom de las Raspberry Pi son muchos los proyectos que se han creado con ayuda de este pequeño pero potente ordenador. Hace unos días Aymará realizó una reseña sobre un interesante proyecto de hardware y software que consiste en un kit especialmente diseñado para niños que permite armar tu propia PC.

Kano utiliza una Raspberry Pi y un sistema operativo basado en Debian a través del cual se enseñan principios básicos de programación. Kano trabaja con hardware y software libre para crear mentes libres capaces no solo de utilizar un equipo de cómputo sino de entender los procesos detrás de toda una ciencia.

Roominate

Juguetes para formar ingenieras, no princesasRoominate es un completo set armable que incorpora elementos de diseño y construcción. Aparentemente es solo una casa de muñecas pero no, Roominate es más que eso. Consta de partes que pueden ser ensambladas con otras para formar pisos, paredes y muebles, cuenta con accesorios para decorar las habitaciones pero además cuenta con circuitos y cables para armar completamente el cableado eléctrico de la casa y controlar las lámparas o el ventilador.

Este set estimula capacidades de resolución de problemas, espaciado y motricidad fina; enseña conocimientos básicos sobre circuitos y electricidad; y fomenta la creatividad y la confianza en sí mismo.

Además de estos proyectos no hay que olvidar que está demostrado que los videojuegos también pueden ayudarnos a estimular ciertas capacidades. Los videojuegos no están peleados con el género y son muchas las opciones que se pueden encontrar en el mercado.

La niñez es parte fundamental del desarrollo de una persona. No dejemos que nuestras hijas se vean en desventaja frente al género masculino y brindémosles la oportunidad de llegar a ser grandes inventoras e ingenieras.

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Polèmica arran del llibre Barbie enginyera informàtica

L’empresa fabricant de joguines Mattel ha retirat de la venda el llibre-joguina Barbie, puc ser enginyera informàtica, a causa de la quantitat de crítiques que ha rebut a Amazon. I ha fet pública una nota on es disculpa per la imatge de la dona que ha pogut donar aquesta nina.

El llibre, que es venia acompanyat de la nina amb un ordinador portàtil, explicava la història de Barbie, una enginyera informàtica que, davant d’alguns problemes tècnics, ha de demanar l’ajut dels seus companys homes, qui li resolen la situació.

Sobre aquesta qüestió s’ha obert una polèmica. S’està (de nou) parlant de dones que no saben enfrontar-se a la tecnologia? O s’està intentant fomentar el treball en equip?

Us presentem dos articles, cadascun defensant un d’aquests punts de vista. I una acció que es va fer hackejant els textos del llibre.

1.- El llibre de Barbie és sexista

Pamela Ribon, Gizmodo, 18/11/14

(…) this is a real book. A book you could buy right now if you wanted to. A book that right now, somewhere, is teaching possibly hundreds of young girls and boys the following:

At breakfast one morning, Barbie is already hard at work on her laptop.

“What are you doing, Barbie?” asks Skipper.

“I’m designing a game that shows kids how computers work,” explains Barbie. “You can make a robot puppy do cute tricks by matching up colored blocks!”

Barbie! That’s awesome. I love how your game is both educational and fun. Bonus points for keeping it cute, because you are so stylish. Please be careful not to drop your breakfast fro-yo on your laptop. I’ve done it, and it’s not so funzies. Anyway, Internet, get ready to find your thing to be super pissed off about today.

Barbie F*cks It Up Again

What the fucking shit, Barbie? This is where you assume Skipper will be like, “Oh, why do you need boys? We can do it ourselves! Let’s learn and work hard and do things all on our own because a sense of accomplishment and knowledge are powerful weapons for adulthood.”

But no. Nope. Barbie’s just fine ending her work with the “design ideas” and a laugh. She’ll need the boys before she’ll have a “REAL GAME.” (…)

THE FUCKING END, PEOPLE. Despite having ruined her own laptop, her sister’s laptop, and the library’s computers, not to mention Steven and Brian’s afternoon, she takes full credit for her game design— only to get extra credit and decide she’s an awesome computer engineer! “I did it all by myself!”

(…) Helen Jane and I were so livid after reading this book we spent the first fifteen minutes spitting out syllables and half-sounds. We’d go from outraged to defeated to livid in the span of ten seconds. “I want this thing to start a meme of girls screaming, ‘I don’t need a Brian or a Steven!'”

We knew we had to share this with you, because if we didn’t, we’d be saying it was okay. We couldn’t just roll our eyes at how insulting this book is, how dangerous it is for young minds, how it’s a perfect example of the way women and girls are perceived to “understand” the tech world, and how frustrating it can be when nobody believes this is how we’re treated. Just about every review we could find on this book had readers equally offended and frustrated.

Oh, and the 50 stickers? I only saw one: “Nerdy is the new Fab!” The others had already been removed by Helen Jane’s small daughters. We can only hope that one of them doesn’t boast,“My other laptop is a boy!”

2.- Al llibre Barbie aprèn a treballar en equip

Ken Hess, Zdnet, 21/11/14

Some people felt that Barbie failed as a computer engineer and that the book, Barbie: I can be a Computer Engineer, was sexist and had other problems as well. A few headlines even brand her as “inept”. I disagree. If you really look at the book, there’s nothing wrong with the story. It’s our mad interpretation of it that really bothers people. I think Mattel and the irate, militant feminists have <again> overreacted.

Barbie: I can be a Computer EngineerIn the story, Barbie apparently comes up with design concepts for computer games. So, what’s wrong with that, you ask? She tells Skipper that to turn it into a real game, she has to get Steven’s and Brian’s help.

Really Barbie? You’re saying that you’re part of a design team and that not one of you has all the expertise required to build an entire computer game? Wow, that’s so…normal. Seriously, game design is a good job. Designers aren’t always programmers and they work as part of a team to bring a game to life. Seems pretty normal to me.

Then, the story turns to Barbie who attempts to email her design idea to Steven, but discovers that she has a virus. The virus, she and Skipper discover, originated from her flash drive.

Is Barbie showing that she’s a helpless female or an inept computer engineer? No, that’s absurd. The thing is that Barbie is a game designer, not a desktop support technician. It’s a very different skillset. Many of my coworkers bring me their Windows-based computers to fix because they’re UNIX or Linux people and not Windows experts. Or maybe, like Barbie, they just don’t know enough about computers to call themselves competent computer engineers. (…)

In the end, Skipper’s files are saved. Barbie’s files are saved. Barbie gets a good score for her design and all end’s well. That is until some militant feminist got ahold of the story and decided that it was bad.

What does the story really have to say?

Barbie is smart. No one knows everything. Teamwork is key to success.

There’s no sexism. There’s no misogyny. There really is no problem.

It sounds like a typical day in any IT shop to me.

The only problem that I see in the story is that Barbie takes a bit more of the credit than she should. She should have told Skipper that it was a team effort to retrieve the files and to remove the virus. But, that too, is pretty typical of IT people.

In all, I’d say it’s a pretty good story.

And, hey, Barbie,…I’d totally hire you as a game designer because obviously you’re good enough to impress your female instructor and your two male coworkers. So, yes, you can be a computer engineer. And Ken can stay home, clean house, write the Great American Novel, or create blog posts for ZDNet, while you earn the big bucks as a game designer. I bite my thumb at the haters. So there.

i 3.- El llibre de Barbie informàtica hackejat!!!

Wired, , 11.21.14

(…) The internet has fallen in love with Feminist Hacker Barbie. She’s the brainchild of Kathleen Tuite, an independent computer programmer based near Santa Cruz, California, who spent a half-day this week putting together a website where people could re-caption the original book, hacking it to fix all of its pastel-hued problems.

Tuite, who until recently was a University of Washington graduate student studying crowdsourcing, says she created the site out of disappointment and frustration with the official Barbie book. In the past few days, her Feminist Hacker Barbie has blossomed into a full-blown and extremely funny internet meme with thousands of captions, many of which we think would make great fodder for a real Barbie engineering movie.

En tot cas, aquí podeu llegir la història original i decidir qui te raó!!!!

Estic estudiant poesia per ser enginyer

I’m studying poetry to be a better engineer, and this is why

Michael Cheung, Academics & Research. MIT ADMISSION. 14/11/2014

Michael Cheung, 16 anys

This semester, I’ve read over 160 poems, spent 30 hours in class analyzing those poems, and written 5000 words on a few dozen verses.I’ve pored over meter and rhythm, imagery and enjambments, em-dashes and alliteration.

Why?

There is a good argument to be made that art for art’s sake is reason enough. As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society, “Poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for…That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”

I’m not going to make that argument. Instead, I’ll start with a thought that passed through my mind the other day:

Poetry is important for the same reason that a bullet is destructive.

Perhaps I should elaborate.

A bullet is not destructive because of the force behind it. (If it were, by Newton’s Third Law the recoil would have an equally deadly effect on the shooter). A bullet is destructive because that force is concentrated in a very small area.

It is the smallness of the bullet that gives it power.

Likewise, poetry is such a dense, compact form of language. It packs pages and pages of meaning into just a few verses. In a world where we are surrounded by anonymous, thoughtless, prosaic prose — think endless listicles on Facebook — reading a piece where every syllable, every punctuation mark, every line, is carefully considered…it’s a breath of fresh air.

And that ability to convey lots of meaning very succinctly is vital in any walk of life. As one of my NASA supervisors told me over the summer, “Nobody cares unless you tell a story.”

Take the project I was working on: designing and building prototypes for an enormous space telescope. Why was this project important?

In 1968, an Apollo 8 astronaut took a photo that changed the world. Earthrise was a photo that invigorated the environmental movement, changed the public’s view of space exploration, and encouraged support for future missions.

The goal of my project was to design a telescope that could take a photo of this revolutionary class — but of a planet outside our solar system. Earthrise for the 21st century.

That’s what people truly care about. Not the intricacies of in-space robotic assembly, truss geometry, or finite element analysis, but what a project really means.

I enjoy the arts for their own sake as much as any other person, but I also appreciate their utility. It’s the reason I’m studying poetry, and the reason I took an acting class last semester: to optimize my ability to deliver a message, whether it’s on the 2.009 stage or in a product video.

If you want people to care, tell a story.

Llegir la notícia original aquí.