Mattel launched Robotics Engineer Barbie on Tuesday, a doll designed to pique girls' interest in STEM and shine a light on an underrepresented career field for women, the company announced.
The new doll joins a lineup of more than 200 careers held by Barbie, "all of which reinforce the brand's purpose to inspire the limitless potential in every girl," Mattel said in a statement.
With only 24 percent of STEM jobs held by women, the Barbie brand is not only encouraging girls to explore STEM through imaginative play with the doll, but also learn real coding skills. As part of a multi-year partnership with Tynker, the Number one game-based platform that has helped more than 60 million kids learn to code, Mattel is launching six free Barbie-inspired coding experiences available starting today at tynker.com/BarbieYCBA.
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These lessons are designed to teach logic, problem-solving and the building blocks of coding while casting young learners in different roles alongside Barbie, according to the statement.
By leveraging Mattel's strong portfolio of brands, this ongoing collaboration reinforces Tynker's mission of making coding and STEM education accessible and appealing to all students by meeting them where their interests lie and providing them with the foundational tools they need to learn to code, it said.
"For almost 60 years, Barbie has exposed girls to roles where women are underrepresented to show them that they can be anything,'' said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President for Barbie. "By playing with Robotics Engineer Barbie on and offline, we are giving girls a new platform for play in their imaginary world and teaching them important skills for their real world."
This is not the first time Barbie has explored STEM -- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Since 1959, Barbie has held STEM roles including astronaut, scientist, video game developer and computer engineer. The brand also partners with experts in the field to ensure these dolls are an authentic representation of the profession and coding skills.
"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."