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Inspiring the next generation of female engineers | Debbie Sterling | TEDxPSU


Who is Debbie Sterling?

Who is Debbie Sterling and why is she so awesome?!

“There’s nothing wrong with being a princess, we just think girls can build their own castles too.” -Debbie Sterling

Debbie Sterling is a Mechanical Engineer, Stanford graduate, and CEO. She decided to disrupt the pink aisle by founding GoldieBlox, a toy franchise about a girly girl that also builds simple machines. Debbie decided to start GoldieBlox to help young girls develop the spacial skills gained when playing with constructions toys and legos. My new video discusses her story, recent changes in her company, and tips from Debbie!


I am not sponsored or connected to GoldieBlox in any way.. just a fan!

Somerville, Heather. “GoldieBlox Super Bowl Commercial Uses Parody of Rock Song ... Again.” SiliconBeat, SiliconBeat, 4 Feb. 2014,

“GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine.” Amazon, Amazon,

“GoldieBlox and the Dunk Tank.” Amazon, Amazon,

“GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine.” Amazon, Amazon,

“GoldieBlox Ruby Rails Coding Ac.” Amazon, Amazon,

Thelilynews. “GoldieBlox Founder Debbie Sterling Is Transforming the Toy Aisle for Girls - The Lily.” Https://, The Lily, 25 Jan. 2018,

“Debbie Sterling.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Jan. 2018,

Gross, Elana Lyn. “How The Founder Of GoldieBlox Is Creating The Next Generation Of Women In STEM.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 28 Nov. 2017,


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Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers

Educational and Inspirational message to increase the under-representation of women in the STEM fields.

I have a dream that young women will aspire to be scientists and engineers developing the next technological innovations that move our world forward.

I decided to make that dream a reality by educating young women on careers in engineering and sharing my journey to success on becoming an engineer.

This talk was given at Akron University Inquire! Innovate! Invent! Event hosted by the Women in Engineering Program.

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Debbie Sterling, Goldie Blox - The Need for Female Engineers @TheFeast 2013

Only 11% of engineers in the US are women - Debbie Sterling, Goldie Blox

If the work of a child is their play, then the most impactful way for children to learn may be their toys. What if you could make the world a better place, one little girl at a time? Engineers are incredibly important to society, yet there is currently a severe lack of women in the field. Many think that the problem begins in childhood. Studies show that girls begin to lose interest in math and science by age 8, and by as early as age 4, they begin to associate gender with interest and careers. There are many toys marketed as “boys’ toys” that are especially good for spatial and motor skills. Many girls grow up believing that toys having to do with science or building things are just “not for them”.

When Debbie Sterling began to share her vision of creating an engineering toy that was made specifically for little girls, she was discouraged by toy companies, who said that those kinds of toys never sell. She didn’t give up on her big idea though, and now she has a very successful toy that helps girls to dream big. She gets videos every day from girls who show off the amazing creations they built. With the confidence that these girls gain from playing with Goldieblox, they’re beginning to think of themselves as engineers.

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Inspirations of Women in Engineering

Cisco sat down with hundreds of female engineers and asked them: “What inspires you?” Women from all over, with diverse backgrounds, from seasoned professionals to aspiring students share their inspirations. These exemplary professionals of today are setting the bar high to inspire the women of tomorrow.

What inspires you?

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Debbie Sterling - Creator of Goldieblox @TheFeast 2013

GoldieBlox is a toy company that started with a passion about how to inspire the next generation of female engineers. Only 11% of engineers in USA are women. Engineers are incredibly important, and most of them are male despite the fact that half of our population is female.

Debbie Sterling talks about her path to getting a GoldieBlox that launched year ago. Debbie found her love when she started as a freshman at Stanford University, and she was one among few women in her first mechanical engineering class. She realized that engineering is all about learning how stuff works and how to invent things. Her passion hooked to her brain when she started idea bench with her friends to share ideas. Debbie started thinking about developing toys to generate interest of girls in the field of engineering.
Many people laughed at her idea during the initial days but, she did not give up so and attended social entrepreneurship conference to share the view. With the help of few who wanted to help her, she came up with a prototype for kids, and we found that it was indeed appealing to girls. After realizing that girls love stories, Debbie Sterling started writing stories about Goldie the girl engineer who went on adventures to solve problems by building simple machines. Less than a year, GoldieBlox is now available at TOYS R US and has been a best selling product on Amazon. They are making new stories and products regularly.

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Atkins - Inspiring the next generation of engineers

A short video explaining how Atkins is helping to inspire the next generation of engineers through STEM work in schools.

Advice for Future Female Engineers

Some of our current female undergraduate engineering students share the best advice they have received and give advice based on their experiences at USC.

Women In STEM: Inspiring Others to Become Scientists and Engineers

Learn more:

Meet Suzanne Singer, an energy and thermal fluids analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the latest profile in the Energy Department’s #WomenInSTEM video series. Suzanne works in solar forecasting, where she tries to predict how much solar energy a solar farm will produce. She also works to build collaborations between the Energy Department’s National Labs and Native American tribes across the country.


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Debbie Sterling at 100Kin10 Summit 2013

Debbie Sterling is an engineer and founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math.
GoldieBlox is a book series+construction set that engages kids to build through the story of Goldie, the girl inventor who solves problems by building simple machines. Debbie writes and illustrates Goldie's stories, taking inspiration from her grandmother, one of the first female cartoonists and creator of Mr. Magoo. Her company, launched in 2012, raised over $285,000 in 30 days through Kickstarter, and has been featured in numerous publications such as The Atlantic and Forbes.
Prior to founding GoldieBlox, Debbie served as the Marketing Director of Lori Bonn, a national jewelry company. For the past 7 years, she has also served as a brand strategy consultant for a wide variety of organizations including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Organic Valley and the New York Knicks.
Debbie's inspiration to create a mission-driven company came in 2008, when she spent 6 months volunteering at a grassroots nonprofit in rural India. She created a viral fundraising campaign called I Want a Goat, raising over $30,000 for economic and educational development in the region. This experience helped pave the way to finding her true passion: inspiring the next generation of female engineers.
Debbie completed her degree in engineering at Stanford (Product Design, '05) and currently lives with her husband in San Francisco.

EngineerGirl @ GoldieBlox

Featuring an interview with Debbie Sterling, CEO at GoldieBlox in Oakland, CA.

#EngineerGirlShow highlights the amazing women in engineering and to inspire the next generation. Produced by George Retelas with his digital art students at SAE Institute.

The EngineerGirl website was created to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.

Female Engineers Share Experiences In A Male-Dominated Field

I was one of five female engineers in classes of 200.

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Aspire To Inspire: Women in Engineering

Think Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is just for boys? We think differently; visit to find your inspiration!

In the engineering video Cindy Koester shares her job of Environmental Control & Life Support Systems, Alma Stephanie Tapia explores materials and softgoods development, and Carly Watts explains her participation in Space Suit design and testing.

Follow these women on Twitter @a2i_engr

Inspiring Future Engineers on International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women's Day, Olympic Heights High School hosted women engineers from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, who interacted with nearly 60 girls in the school's Engineering Academy.This event highlights the importance of showing students the opportunities that are available, and how STEM classes play a role in their future.

Inspiring and Empowering Women in Engineering

Meet AIChE members and women engineers in industry and academia who, inspired by their predecessors, are making huge impacts in their fields. Their work inspires and empowers progress and innovation in future generations.

This film premiered at AIChE's 2018 Gala on December 11. Funds raised will underwrite the expansion of women’s leadership programs, improve pre-college STEM education for girls and advance retention programs for women engineering undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals. A $5MM initiative All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion was announced at the event. It is a core priority of AIChE’s Doing a World of Good campaign, and is being spearheaded by many of the industry partners and individuals present at the gala.

Learn more about the Gala:

Learn more about AIChE's Doing a World of Good Campaign:

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Advice for Female Engineers


TEDxIIT - Jeff Chiles - Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers

Jeff Chiles is a current student at Illinois Institute of Technology. From Plymouth, Minn., he recently completed his undergraduate courses for a double major in electrical and computer engineering, and is now a research assistant with the High Performance Integrated Circuits and Microsystems Lab in the ECE department at IIT. During his undergraduate time, he became closely involved with the Camras Scholars Program and as its vice president of the Camras Student Executive Board in 2009, he led the initial development of the Intuitive Modules in Engineering Education program (IMiEE). IMiEE is focused on exposure kids to engineering at a much younger age so that they might consider it as a career path in the future. Here Jeff talks about the mission and development of the program as well as where it is going in the future.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.*
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Why girls should be scientists and engineers?!

Get to know about the opportunities and perks of being in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and about inspiring women that have shaped these fields!

Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox | Dynamic Dialouges

Women in Engineering

In March 2018, ASCE News launched a special series, Women in Civil Engineering, to explore the state of the industry through a gender lens. Read more:

#90SecondsWith: Debbie Sterling



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