A new video which aims to inspire young girls to become engineers has proven to be a smash hit on the Internet.
The new promotional video by start-up toy company GoldieBlox features an immense Rube Goldberg machine of extravagant complexity crafted by a trio of spirited young girls.
The video opens with the three budding engineers sitting idly on a living room floor, watching a group of their peers on television who sport the more conventional trappings of early girlhood, including tiaras, pink dresses and glitter-spangled fairy wands.
That footage induces a reaction of boredom and disdain from the heroes of the piece, who instead opt to pick up tools, don goggles and hard hats, and embark upon the construction of a delightful and ingenious engineering contraption which spans the full dimensions of a suburban block.
The video treats viewers to a musical tour of the resulting Rube Goldberg device – a machine which completes a very simple task in an exceedingly complex way, named for the 20th century American cartoonist and engineer who first proposed its construction.
In this case, the bedazzling array of contraptions, devices and techniques assembled by the girls runs a full circuit of the house before returning to the family room where they had been sitting, and peremptorily switching the channel on the TV set.
The ingenious video has proven a huge hit with Internet users, amassing five million views on Youtube in the space of mere days.
GoldieBlox is a California-based company established in 2012 which aims to make toys that encourage girls to enter the field of engineering.
Debbie Sterling, the founder and CEO of Goldieblox, hopes the company can induce a cultural shift which narrows the prevailing gender gap in the engineering profession.
Sterling said part of her motivation for starting the company was the conspicuous lack of women amongst her classmates while studying product design at Stanford’s mechanical engineering department.
Women continue to be grossly underrepresented in the engineering field in Australia and around the world. According to a report released by Engineers Australia in May of 2012, women comprise only 14 per cent of acceptance of places in university engineering courses, while bachelor degree commencements by women fell throughout the course of last decade.
As of 2011 women comprise only 11 per cent of Engineering Australia’s overall membership, and only 7.5 per cent of its engineering team membership.