New award encourages toy companies to put forward STEM products.
This year, WISE, which campaigns for more girls and women in STEM careers, is launching a new award– the Toy Award – with the aim of overcoming the current shortage of women entering into the field of technology and IT.
The group is keen to highlight the importance of getting girls interested in science and tech by the age of 11, as experts say after this age it is much harder to capture their interest, and fun toys can play a key part in doing so. Last year, the group recommended 10 Christmas toys based on WISE member suggestions.
This year, WISE key criteria include the following: the toy must be retailed in the UK, be targeted at girls aged 4-11, make science and tech fun, and not resemble a product for schools. Companies within the toy industry are encouraged to enter the WISE Awards with their STEM products.
WISE royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal has presented the awards for the last five years, and winners often appear on Woman’s Hour. WISE plans to test out the toys with schoolchildren and their parents, and invite TV cameras in to film and share on social media.