The famous scientists Mae Jemison, Margaret Hamilton, Nancy Grace Roman and Sally Ride are honored at LEGO with their own figurine integrated into their specialty.
This is not a trivial choice: toys have a role to play in the (de) construction of gender stereotypes (masculine/feminine. Often accused of promoting them, toy manufacturers tend to reverse this trend.
Earlier this year, LEGO announced to honor NASA women following Maia Weinstock’s proposal (editor-in-chief at MIT News) on LEGO’s Ideas website . His proposal received 10,000 votes, prompting the group to launch its production. Shortly afterwards, the firm launched its ” Build The Future ” campaign where a little girl was building her astronaut suit piece by piece.
A small step for the man …
Today, LEGO is moving from speech to action with this set featuring these four NASA engineers:
– Nancy Grace Roman, also known as “Mother of Hubble”, originally created the space telescope of the same name, will be placed next to a model similar to the original.
– Margaret Hamilton designed the software necessary for landing on the moon of Apollo 11. The famous photo showing her in front of the software project for Apollo 11 is restored for her LEGO decoration.
Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, respectively first American woman and first African American in space, are represented by a space shuttle Challenger.
A figurine in the shadow
Originally, Maia Weinstock had also submitted the name of Katherine Johnson, Phisycian and Mathematician, whom we see in the film Figures of the Shadows (played by Tarji P. Henson), but LEGO explains that he did not agree ( or her family) to be included in the Women of NASA set.
This is not the first time that LEGO has featured female scientists in one of its game boxes. A research institute, also offered through LEGO Ideas, was created under the leadership of geoscientist Ellen Kooijman, and showed women in their STEM discipline (acronym which groups together 4 scientific or technical disciplines, science , technology, engineering and mathematics).
The ” Women of NASA ” package will be released on November 1 and will be priced at $ 24.99. It will include the 4 figurines as well as 231 pieces.