Studies show that girls’ interest in STEM subjects drops significantly by the time they are 15, but one company hopes to inspire more girls to see that science and technology is fun and exciting for everyone. UBTECH’s new STEAM robot toys for girls will help pave the way for future female scientists and engineers—with a little bit of (coding) magic.
The new JIMU Robot Mythical Series: UnicornBot Kit ($119) launched Thursday to coincide with International Day of the Girl—and it’s guaranteed to get young women excited about a future in STEAM. Combining the challenge of engineering and coding with the popularity and magic of unicorns, UBTECH hopes to engage more kids, especially girls, in the fun of robotics.
“Kids gravitate to STEM toys because technology makes learning feel fun and empowering without being forced,” said John Rhee, senior vice president and general manager, North America, UBTECH. “Likewise, kids are drawn to unicorns for their sense of enchantment and power.”
Rhee continued, “By introducing UnicornBot as the first JIMU Robot in our new Mythical Series, we want to expand the audience for STEM toys by tapping into one of the most popular themes on the toy market today, while shattering preconceptions of what a STEM toy is and who should benefit from early exposure to STEM concepts.”
The UnicornBot kit contains 440 snap-together parts that kids can use to construct their programmable robots. Once built, the UnicornBot will connect to an app kids can use to learn Blockly coding to program their bots.
For example, they can program the unicorn’s light-up horn to change colors. Kids will be able to control the UnicornBot’s movements and actions using pre-programmed commands, as well as customizing commands of their own.
The accompanying JIMU app will also roll out an update around the holidays that will feature an augmented reality function that allows kids to place their UnicornBots into an enchanted world to explore.
All photos: Courtesy UBTECH