Barbie set to help kids learn about computers with coding lessons from Mattel

Toy maker Mattel is launching seven Barbie-themed coding lessons aimed at teaching girls about computer science and programming as part of an ambitious project to introduce 10 million kids to coding by 2020.

Barbie set to help kids learn about computers with coding lessons from Mattel

The new coding modules will cast girls in different jobs alongside Barbie to help them to learn and also to give them an early introduction to careers including astronaut and robotics engineer. Due to launch this summer, the new coding lessons are part of a collaboration with the Tynker creative computing platform, which is used by more than one in three U.S. schools.

Mattel originally partnered with Tynker in 2015 to introduce Hot Wheels and Monster High coding experiences that reached nearly four million kids.

“Through this collaboration, we continue our commitment to providing meaningful play experiences that are fun while helping kids with STEM learning, an important 21st-century learning skill,” said Sven Gerjets, CTO of Mattel. “By exposing kids to STEM experiences on Tynker through Mattel characters they know and love, they may develop a passion for science and computing that could lead them to a career in a STEM-related field.”

In a bid to encourage students all over the globe to learn coding with its kid-friendly content, Mattel and Tynker will also use lessons themed around Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High to promote the 2018 Computer Science Education Week Hour of Code in December.

“For close to 75 years, Mattel has taken a visionary approach to advancing play for kids around the world, most recently promoting computer programming and other STEM skills alongside iconic brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High,” said Krishna Vedati, Tynker’s co-founder and CEO. “We are very excited by this expanded partnership and the ambitious—but achievable—goal of teaching 10 million kids to learn to code by 2020 using Mattel brands.”

Other big toy brands such as Lego have also introduced toys and platforms to encourage children to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and get a head start on computer skills. And in the UK, there are a number of child-friendly coding courses including CoderDojo and Code Club.


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