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Organization's Toys Help Young Women Develop STEM Skills

Organizaiton Creates Toys for Young Women to Develop STEM Skills

Raina to the Rescue, a new organization geared towards encouraging young women to become future leaders, has started its efforts by developing a toy line dedicated to get students interested in STEM. 

Marisa Banigan, one of the creators of Raina to the Rescue, said the series of toys were designed "to infuse 21st century learning, active learning and role modeling" for young women ages 6-10. Marisa is joined by her older sister Mia Godbout in this project, said an article on Forbes.com. 

"Marisa is a project manager, whose job is to take an idea from inception to launch, while Mia is a teacher and reading specialist," Forbes said. The duo found that "girls tend to have strong verbal skills early in their development, leading them to an interest in reading. They also learned a lot about the importance of hands-on, activity-based play as a technique for teaching lessons that really stick."

So, the Banigan sisters came up with a story about a girl named Raina, the article said. Raina and her friends are "all animal lovers, who visit a stable where there's a filly with a hurt leg."

"Raina leads her crew on different adventures and solves problems," said a blog post on the organization's official website. "She asks 'why,' inspires her team of rescuers, and gives without expecting something in return. She doesn’t wear pink, she doesn’t wear a crown, and she doesn’t wait for someone else to come to her rescue. She is just a ordinary little girl, but it is my hope that she will help inspire every little girl to be extraordinary.

The duo made a prototype, and tested it out at a Montessori school, the article said. 

"That’s what convinced us this was something worth pursuing,” Marisa said. The sisters took their product to a competition at Bryant University and won $5,000. "“When the judges handed out the prize, they said to go get more funding, because they wanted to see this thing happen."

Raina to the Rescue has another story coming out in the near future, the article said, "in which she adopts a dog from a shelter and has to build a dog house."

"There also will be toys focusing on decision-making and other skills that might incorporate an app allowing girls to interact with the toy, rather than 'just holding it,' says Marisa," the article said.

See the organization's mission here with this short video:

 

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld

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