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Toymakers show little value for the young female brain

RE “BLOCKED paths: Frilly Legos won’t encourage girls to enter scientific careers’’ (Op-ed, Feb. 14) by Joanna Weiss: I was a girl in the 1970s who reread biographies of Madame Curie and Galileo, started a nature club in my backyard, and was an avid consumer of Ranger Rick and any other sources of facts about the natural world. There were no toys for me then - I hated Barbie dolls, and used stuffed animals to play veterinarian. Apparently Lego is making sure there are still no toys for girls like that today.

Weiss notes that girls like to know how things work and are interested in the natural world. I would remind any developer of educational toys or even curriculum that in addition to physics and computer science, there is biology, ecology, and chemistry, all of which are critical fields today.

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My brother became a doctor; I ended up in environmental advocacy. I was not encouraged to go into science despite my early interests. I’m making up for that today, going back to school in my 40s to study ecology.

Toys from companies as venerable as Lego reflect culture and values. The new products show little value for the young female brain, even today.

Nicole St. Clair Knobloch


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