American Girl's New Doll Wants To Go To Mars. Can She Inspire A Generation To Join Her?

"Failure is an opportunity for learning and improving."

It's so important we ensure girls receive messages throughout their young lives that they can be anything they want, and that no job is better suited for one gender over another. It's especially important we get girls excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as women are too often underrepresented in those area of work. A good place to start getting girls excited about STEM is to introduce them to toys that inspire interest in these subjects. 

American Girl will continue to remind young girls to reach new heights with their 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega, an aspiring astronaut who wants to travel to Mars. 

"For us, it's all about helping girls develop their strength of character — something that is more important in our world than ever," American Girl spokesperson Julie Parks told Refinery29. "Luciana shows girls what it means to be a girl of strong character — where creative thinking, collaboration, and STEM literacy provide opportunities for meaningful growth and development. Luciana empowers girls to push boundaries, defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life."

To help create the doll, American Girl worked with a former NASA chief scientist and a former astronaut, among others. Additionally, Refinery29 reports that the brand will sponsor 20 scholarships for girls to go to space camp. Girls can also follow Luciana's journey online and play interactive games that lead them through three missions.

But Luciana is about more than becoming an astronaut or pursuing a career in STEM:

"At their core, Luciana's stories are as much about STEM as they are about character: the ever-emerging awareness that what we do and what we say to one another matters. In pursuing her goals, Luciana must contend with challenges, obstacles, and even failure—which ultimately highlight the qualities that make a reliable team player, a caring friend, a thoughtful leader, and a resilient change-maker," it says on American Girls' website. "Her stories not only reassure girls that it is okay to fail; they communicate a concept central to STEM, that failure is an opportunity for learning and improving."

After revealing the new doll on Instagram, people have taken to American Girl's comments section to share their praise and excitement:

"This is the one I would totally get my girls!!!" one person wrote, tagging a second. 

"My daughter who LOVES space and realized she looks just like her [and] had to have her!! Went to the [New York] store today and had the best experience! Thank you for supporting girls and STEM!" another said.

(H/T: Hello Giggles


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