Lego/NASA/Maia Weinstock

It's Official: Lego's New Toy Set Will Celebrate the Women of NASA

Yes!

FIONA MACDONALD
2 MAR 2017
 

Lego has announced that the next set of toys it'll release will feature not one, but five awesome NASA female scientists.

The idea came from a Lego Ideas Proposal put forward last year, which encouraged the toymaker to create a set that celebrated kick-ass female scientists and engineers.

 

And now all our dreams have come true, because Lego has confirmed that they'll be working with NASA to bring the idea to reality, and the "Women in NASA" toys could be available by the end of this year.

The new set will feature computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. Jemison was the first African-American woman in space.

The original idea came from Maia Weinstock, the deputy editor of MIT News, who said she was "thrilled" the idea had passed review.

"Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the US space program, AKA NASA," Weinstock wrote in her proposal.

 

"Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated - especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)."

The role of women at NASA has recently been highlighted by the recent film Hidden Figures, which tells the story of Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer), and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe).

"As a science editor and writer, with a strong personal interest for space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, Maia Weinstock's Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM professions. In particular those who've made a big impact through their work at NASA," said Lego Ideas spokeswoman Lise Dydensborg.

"We're really excited to be able to introduce Maia's Women of NASA set for its inspirational value as well as build and play experience."

According to the announcement, the new Lego line will be created in conjunction with NASA, but the final designs and price are still being finalised.

In the meantime, we have these initial mock-up images from Weinstock's proposal to get excited about:

LegoNew1Maia Weinstock

2866920-o 1b90sdq5r1hjr1k0s1irr1df11nccaMaia Weinstock

This isn't the first time Lego has put out an awesome female scientist set - in 2014, the company responded to a seven-year-old's criticism that its toys lacked female professional figures by releasing an all-female toy set, including an astronomer, chemist, and palaeontologist.

"I applaud Lego for their hidden figures," Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, told Alison Thoet from PBS.

"Toys play a pivotal role, especially early on in what girls think they can be. ... You can't be what you cannot see."

Find out more about the women of NASA being celebrated in the new line here.

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