Barbie Gets a New Job: Robotics Engineer

Source: Mattel

By: Marie Donlon

At 59 years old, Barbie is undergoing yet another career change. Having tried out astronaut, developer, paleontologist and scientist to name just a few of her past careers, Barbie is now dipping her toe in the engineering pond.

Bedecked with a laptop, safety glasses and robot accessory, Robotics Engineer Barbie is set to hit the shelves this week for about $14.

As the demand for STEM-themed toys mounts, Barbie will introduce coding to young kids, particularly young girls, in the shape of an accompanying workbook developed in conjunction with Tynker.

Though underrepresented in STEM professions, it is Mattel’s hope that Barbie can impress upon young girls the fact that they can go into these male-dominated professions.

"We always have this issue in how do we get more females involved in engineering and STEM and technical skills," said Mattel's chief technology officer, Sven Gerjets. "For us it was give them the inspiration, let them know they can do this, and then give them some steps to get them started. So we know that they progressively grow and they are the employees that we hire in the next decade to fill the STEM-type jobs that are so critical."

“Our mission is to empower youth to become the makers of tomorrow through coding, and the Barbie brand is an ideal partner to help us introduce programming to a large number of kids in a fun, engaging way," said Krishna Vedati, co-founder and CEO, Tynker. "It's critical that all young learners have an opportunity to explore the possibilities available in STEM fields, and Tynker's Barbie programming experience is a valuable tool to introduce kids of all ages to these concepts while building their coding skills."