The team at — educational building toy company Click-A-Brick has commended a new Albuquerque toy startup that aims to specifically teach girls engineering skills through toys and accompanying online components.
As Girls Grow, co-founded by CEO Akamee Baca Malta, is just getting started with prototyping for their first product. The company has recently finished going through a business incubator called ABQid and will take to Kickstarter for funding once it has its prototyping done.
Malta said she decided to start the company when she couldn’t find any toys marketed toward girls that specifically teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
The company wants to release storybooks along with its toys and will also encourage girls to join its online community to share their stories about how they solved engineering problems using the As Girls Grow toys and concepts. It aims to target girls from eight to 11 years old because this is when most girls tend to lose interest in STEM subjects.
"[Our online community] will provide a community and it will also provide retention,” Malta told KOB4 news recently. “Girls will start young, they'll start playing, at two years old they'll start playing in the sand and they'll start building with toys but as they get older they kind of drop off and you'll see that around middle school, high school -- they don't really stay in with it so that's what we're trying to do.”
Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they hope As Girls Grow gets off the ground as planned and is able to join a growing list of startups that are geared toward providing another way for young girls to learn STEM skills.
“We welcome another educational building toy into the marketplace,” Smith said. “We love when these toy startups show ingenuity and innovation and we see that with As Girls Grow. STEM toys specifically aimed at girls is a niche that is calling out for small toy startups to get into. Akamee is obviously passionate about teaching girls engineering from a young age, so that bodes well for As Girls Grow as a company. It’s always best when a company has a driving passion behind it and there’s no better passion to have than one for helping children learn and develop in ways that will give them a chance at the best possible future.”
The team at Click-A-Brick especially likes the age range that As Girls Grow is targeting, as it continues nicely from the age range that Click-A-Brick is targeting at four to five years and up.
“What we envision when kids play with Click-A-Brick is that they’ll get that initial interest in building things and learning how to put things together and as they grow they’ll start gaining an interest in more complex toys like what As Girls Grow is developing that delve deeper into the STEM fields,” de Gorostiza said.
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