Roominate is a company that offers fully customizable building sets. The company’s mission is to foster young girls’ interests in STEM. They accomplish this objective via their technological toy sets. The sets distinguish themselves from similar lines with circuits, modular pieces and universal joints. The focus of the sets are on improving spatial and fine motor skills, learning basic circuitry, building self confidence and creativity, and teaching hands on problem solving.
The young girls who interact with Roominate products can create their own unique and original structures. The concept behind each toy is driven by the idea of open ended play. The purpose is to simulate an open source software platform. The founders of Roominate believe that this can motivate young girls to pursue STEM related fields.
Jason Smith, the Co-Founder of Click-A-Brick, applauds the founder’s ethos. “I fully support what they’re doing,” Smith said. “As an entrepreneur in the same field, and especially as a parent to a young girl, I congratulate Roominate. Their desire is similar to what we do at Click-A-Brick with our own toy lines. We want children to engage in hands on problem solving and develop their fine motor skills. Roominate seems to want to inspire children to have fun with STEM subjects. And that is an idea I can get behind, both as a parent and as a company. If you want to get girls involved in engineering, then let them build with toys.”
The founders of Roominate are Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen. They met at the Master’s engineering program at Stanford. When they shared their stories of how they became engineers, they discovered that the toys they played with were part of the reason.
The percentage of women that enter college with the intent of pursuing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related field is less than 15%. Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen believe that this gender gap starts to widen at a young age. For that reason, Alice and Bettina created Roominate. Their purpose is to inspire a new generations of innovators.
The Co-Founder of Click-A-Brick, Georg de Gorostiza, praises the company’s mission. “It’s an important issue,” de Gorostiza said. “The sad truth is that many of the toys available to girls are sorely behind in comparison to those available to boys. Especially if you look in developing problem solving skills and building confidence with technology. Well, these areas are exactly the things that the Roominate addresses. They offer kits for girls to build things as if they were already design, electrical, or structural engineers. It’s a great way to make building toys more accessible and get them into thinking about STEM careers. And that’s something we can definitely identify with at Click-A-Brick.”
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