News flash – Girls and boys are different!

Recruiting Strategies 101: Which of these two educational toys do you think most girls would want to play with?

Lego Mindstorm


Both of the above toys were made by the MIT Educational Lab to teach kids computer programming, robotics and engineering skills.  LEGO MINDSTORMS® were developed first (naturally, sigh) and guess what? The lab discovered that while the toy was a big hit with boys, girls just didn’t care for it.  Now I know one of our readers out there knows a girl who loves LEGO MINDSTORMS® – however, if we are trying to appeal to the vast majority of girls, monsters just aren’t going to cut it – they’re a boy thing. MIT then realized they needed to develop a toy that interested girls and that’s where PicoCrickets comes in. Instead of monsters, girls can make a cat robot and program it to purr when someone pets it. Take a look at the video clip below that shows girls making a diary security system with PicoCrickets.

The only problem is that everyone knows about LEGO MINDSTORMS®, while very few people know about PicoCrickets. That’s why we’re around! Go to our webpage to learn more about PicoCrickets. You can see more video clips, photos and an explanation of how they work. I look forward to the day when PicoCrickets will come first and LEGO MINDSTORMS® second. Will that be in my lifetime?

8 Responses to “News flash – Girls and boys are different!”

  1. Ruth Hernandez  on July 2nd, 2014

    I love this post! In today’s generation, the gender equality or gap will going to be diminish. Ideally, computer for women program should be implemented a decade ago.

  2. Liz Homer  on December 14th, 2009

    It seems to be the far clever thing to be doing is to develop a strategy
    that successfully recruits both girls and boys and does not rely on

  3. Children's toys  on December 3rd, 2009

    A well researched site, I’ll link to it from my site thanks

  4. Liz Homer  on August 11th, 2009

    Can’t MIT be a little more creative and come up with something that does not feed stereotypes and yet appeals to both girls and boys? That would be a real break through wouldn’t it.

  5. almk  on July 31st, 2009

    Of course, I *am* the girl who loves Mindstorms just as much as dolls, but I’m sure I would have loved to play with either of these as a kid (or now). I guess looking at the PicoCricket kit, it looks like it has many of the same features as the Mindstorms (display, sound, motors, sensors). I wonder what it is about this kit that makes it more attractive to girls?

  6. sophochka  on July 29th, 2009

    Yes! I know my brother has been trying to interest my niece in science/math principles using pretty boring lego-knockoffs and I’m sure she’d get a lot more use out of PicoCrickets! I’m definitely ordering a kit for her birthday!

  7. annb9808  on July 28th, 2009

    Great stuff. Keep it coming!

  8. Peter  on July 28th, 2009

    Great info! It’s good to know someone is focusing on this issue.

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