Colorwheel Toys

Interview – Sheri Sheppard

Posted on: January 20, 2012

To get a better idea of the research behind engineering and science education for girls, I spoke with Dr. Sheppard, a Stanford mechanical engineering professor. In addition, to giving me lots of interesting background about the research that has been done in the field she also suggested several people to talk to.

Key insights and ideas to further investigate

  1. There has been some very interesting research about why there are so few Women in engineering. A good overview of this is in the report, Why so Few, that was partially funded by the National Science Foundation.
  2. Additional interesting research into girls and engineering is being done by the National Science Foundation and we will be looking into it.
  3. The Tech Challenge, run by the San Jose Tech museum should be a great source of inspiration for us because it has building/mechanical challenges geared towards lots of different age groups.
  4. Including some sort of support documents for parents, so they can help their daughters get more out of the toy would be very useful.
  5. The National Academy of Engineering has a website with resources for girls.
  6. Spatial reasoning is a skill that we should consider trying to develop with our toy.

Additionally, I spoke to her about her daughter’s favorite toys and activities which included:

  • Waffle Blocks
  • Drawing
  • Math Games
  • American Girl Dolls
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