MAKERphone raises $270.000 and empowers girls to ditch pink dresses and dolls for a soldering iron and electronic chips
MAKERphone, the do-it-yourself mobile phone kit that teaches kids electronics and coding is finishing up a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Often described as IKEA furniture for electronics, the device is actually in a kit form. Kids then have to build the phone themselves out of parts, using the provided instructions, all while learning about electronics.
After they do that, the end product is a fully functional mobile phone that they can use to text, call, listen to music and more.
Wildly successful, the campaign raised $270.000 on Kickstarter, but the team isn’t happy with everything that came out of this campaign, as seen from the last Kickstarter update.
Only 15% of the backers for the campaign were girls.
As Tena Marcac from the team points out: “When I was little, I shared birthdays with my little brother and always ended up disappointed. He was getting cool stuff like race cars, robots and laser guns and all my presents were pinky and boring.”
This is not uncommon. Growing up in the 90s, every other girl was getting similar presents and it was considered normal. But it’s not normal, and not a lot has changed in the past 10 years.
Ana Car, an IT professional also involved in the campaign points out: “This is stupid. Try and do a Google search for ‘toys for boys’ and ‘toys for girls’ and see what images you get – a bunch of pink crap for girls.”
“How did we end up in a world that thinks girls should only play with pink toys, and boys should be doing robotics?”, says Tena.
With a war cry of “Girls solder too” this momentum has gotten a bunch of responses on their Kickstarter page.
A lawyer called Carlos, with a seven-year-old daughter, said that he’s seeing more and more of the girly stereotypes creeping into his daughter’s social life and that he doesn’t want her pigeonholing herself from such a young age – that’s why he backed the campaign.
Another MAKERphone campaign supporter says that so many girls at his high school do dancing, but only 1 boy in the entire school does it. When it comes to a robotics class, it’s the other way around – not a single girl signed up.
Now the team is trying to promote the “GIRLS SOLDER TOO” with customized phone casings and other campaign perks.
MAKERphone has a goal to get more kids involved in STEM – which in today’s society cannot just be reserved for boys.
Albert Gajšak, CEO and co-founder