Monday, December 8, 2014

Kennedy and Barbie In The Lab #BarbieProject

Kennedy recently got a beginners chemistry lab set and decided to try it out with a few of her Barbie friends! My first 'observation' is that Ms. Kennedy is VERY inpatient in the lab!  She was like a bull in a china set when she ripped open the box and started going through all the contents. She wanted to jump in immediately and get to work.  She flipped through the experiment booklet and ran through the house grabbing items like baking soda and vinegar.  Since several of the experiments had to be supervised I grabbed my camera and pulled up a chair.  I was hoping that we would not have to call 911 as Kennedy started to dive in! She found a simple experiment involving ice, string, salt and went to work.

Instead of reading through the instructions carefully she just started sprinkling and mixing. In my mind I'm thinking: "Ummm Kennedy aren't there a few more steps involved ?" I bit my tongue and watched.  Her first experiment was a big fat flop!  Ice went flying everywhere instead of sticking to the string.  I told her that she needed to SLOW down, read the instructions thoroughly and make sure she had everything that she needed before she got started.  She agreed to slow down and let me help!!! Geez!!

I found a simple experiment that involved acids, bases and pH testing on simple household items.  We read over the definition of acids, bases and the different levels on the pH scale.  We read through all of the steps before she began this time..LOL! She was very excited to start testing out items using the kit's pH indicator strips.  It was so cool watching her try out things like lime juice, vinegar, baking soda water, tap water and bottled water. She checked the chart and determined if each item was an acid or base.  She really enjoyed it and started working on setting up her own lab/classroom with her I Can Be A Teacher Barbie doll and students. It was finally safe for me to step away to start dinner at this point. I came back to see Kennedy's official science lab and classroom.

I was amazed at how Kennedy took the time to set up the classroom and started to explain everything that we had just learned through her teacher Barbie. She showed her results during class. She even found a small water bottle in her toy box like the one she used during her experiment.  I don't know how she keeps up with all of her Barbie accessories!

Student Raising Her Hand For Questions..Too Cute!!

'Chemist Kennedy' Writing Out Her pH Test results!

I really loved sitting down with Kennedy and doing these fun experiments. I think that it is so important for girls to take an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  I have always worked hard through my non-profit that empowers girls and women and with my daughters to expose them to science programs and trailblazer women and girls. When we were shopping for the chemistry set, I had to go past all the dolls and toys to find a small section of science based toys.  They are there, we just have to look!

I know there has been a lot of recent controversy with Barbie and the mixed messages that were sent in a book that was published a few years ago called Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer.  In the book Barbie needs the help of two male programmers to complete a computer game that she started. It definitely could send a mixed message, but what I realize especially through this project, is that we should not allow Barbie or books to shape our daughters or sons. We also should not feel that if our daughter reads a book or plays with a doll that her perception on her future will be tainted.   Kennedy has always played with Barbie dolls, and princesses but I also buy her microscopes for her to play and explore.

 At her Birthday party last December her theme was based off of Barbie's I Can Be Line of dolls which focuses on different careers and the attendees came dressed as who they wanted to be when they grew up.  I didn't stop there, I had someone come in and do a robotics demonstration with the girls and boys and at the end of the party they built their own robots.  We as parents have to realize the power we have to shape our sons and daughters!  I found this cool calendar of STEM based activities that you can try with your daughter click here! Kennedy and I have found a few that we are going to try for sure!

We would love to hear your thoughts and stories on the fun things that happen during playtime with Barbie!  Does your daughter want to be a scientist, astronaut, or computer programmer? Be sure to share your experiences and comments below or on the official Barbie Project website!

This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject .
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