Ace & Riley Blends Microscopes, Lab Coats, and Tutu’s With STEM Skills and Playtime to Give Girls the Start They Deserve
Ace & Riley
Scientific collection of Ace and Riley toys for girls. Founded by Amy Tanner.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) –
Ace & Riley is a Vancouver-based toy company that is tired of seeing gender-specific toys on toy shelves and actively manufactures toys to disrupt it by giving little girls the same opportunities to develop their brains that little boys have had has been offered for a long time.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1952d75c-6c79-49d2-bfb8-fd8634ef2492
“If we look at the bigger picture, women make up more than 50% of the workforce, but they only make up 20% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers and occupy only 9% of engineering roles,” noted Dr. Amy Tanner, founder and CEO of Ace & Riley, a toy company looking to disrupt this pattern.
For Dr. Tanner, a pediatric behavioral counselor who has spent her career with children trying to understand brain development, these statistics are not only shocking, but also preventable.
How can we try to avoid such gender-specific differences in STEM areas?
The answer is to give little girls the same opportunities to develop their brains that little boys have long been given through play.
Based on this principle, Dr. Tanner at the beginning of 2020 Ace & Riley as a toy manufacturer specializing in “STEM for the modern girl”. The women-led startup based in Vancouver was founded as a solution to transform the way girls play. By recognizing that the massive gender gap in post-secondary STEM programs and STEM careers is due to a child’s cognitive development in their primitive years, Ace & Riley creates cognitively enriching toys that are marketed to girls.
Due to her many years of experience working with the neurodevelopment of the brain in childhood, Dr. Tanner recognizes that the best way to maximize learning is through role-playing and storytelling. Simply incorporating these elements into classroom practice has been proven to make it 20 times easier for children to memorize and accurately store information.
With this in mind, Ace & Riley scientists can find the essential materials to create their own personal laboratory in the “Curie” Osity Signature Science Set. Named after the renowned scientist Marie Curie, who was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize after her doctorate in science in 1903, the kit is equipped with the essential elements to combine play with learning. This includes 1 lab coat with an official name tag, 1 safety glasses, a 52-piece microscope set and an epic gray tutu.
“I want to fill the void that you can love when you are girlish and pretend to play while you work on your brain,” commented Dr. Tanner discontinues their decision to include items of clothing in the “Curie” Ossity.
With a working laboratory, STEM developers can conduct a wide variety of experiments, including Fizzle my Bizzle: DIY Bath Bombs and Introduction to Electronics: 2 Shocking Experiments.
The company’s website states: “… work to improve the playing field for girls by creating toys, activities and experiences that encourage curiosity, problem solving and access to basic STEM skills while embracing a lot of SASS and promote. ” That mission becomes very evident when you look at Ace & Riley’s collection of creative kits that appeal to little girls (and adults wondering if this gray tutu can be made in their size …).
Toys: The OG influencers
For many parents, life can be very busy, and toys are often used to distract the little ones while dinner is being cooked or an important phone call is being made. In these scenarios, it’s more than fair for burned-out parents to ask themselves, “They’re just toys … is it really that big of a deal?”
The answer to that question is yes, it is actually a big deal.
By the age of 0-6, a child’s brain develops rapidly and is incredibly impressionable. This is the time when children are most exposed to toys and games. With this in mind, the toys that are being marketed for children of this age have an incredible impact on their cognitive development.
Despite the importance toys play in these primitive years, gender-specific toys are still more common than ever.
“As we walk down the toy aisle and see that the sex is assigned to the toy, it becomes increasingly clear that these things are for girls and for boys,” said Dr. Tanner recently in an interview with Global TV.
“That in itself isn’t terrible,” continued Dr. Tanner continued, “but it confirms that we did not create toys for boys and girls alike.”
To this end, Dr. Tanner points to the fact that the boys’ toy aisle is filled with construction kits, connecting blocks, train tracks, rocket ships, robots, and more. Toys of this type develop STEM skills by encouraging innovation, creativity, and exploration.
In contrast, toys for girls encourage happiness at home.
“What you will see as you walk down the girls’ aisle are a lot of toys, mostly around domestic roles,” commented Dr. Tanner. “You will see a lot of babies, a lot of kitchen sets, teaching girls to cook with any cookware… you will even see cleaning supplies like pugs, brooms and dustpans that are marketed as toys. Then you will see a whole section all about self improvement with makeup, nails and hair. “
The unfortunate reality is that few to none of the typical “girls” toys are aimed at STEM development and create a barrier to entry into careers in the field before little girls are even 7 years old.
Child’s play or marketing tactic?
If you say to yourself, “I see, but every time my daughter and I go to the toy store, all she cares about is Polly Pockets and Frozen Dress-Up outfits. I think she’s just more interested in these toys than scientific experiments, “you’re not alone.
Society has done a wonderful job of branding what is called “toys for boys” and “toys for girls” and this has distorted the selection process of children when walking down a toy aisle.
“The data clearly shows that marketers are still categorizing children by gender in highly stereotypical categories,” commented Rebecca Hains, professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University, who is very familiar with the subtle tactics of global toy manufacturers market their products to girls or boys.
Without such a targeted advertising tactic, the data suggests that little girls might not be interested in pink backsets and little boys might not be interested in a Tonka truck.
This was proven in the BBC documentary No More Boys and Girls, in which Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim dressed toddlers in clothes that matched their typical gender and studied how adults interacted with them in play. The study found that adults unconsciously encouraged toddlers to play with toys that matched the sex they appeared to be, providing girls with more dolls and fluffy toys, and giving boys more shelter and bikes.
Although this study has been controversial, it has been successfully shown that the toys children play with are far less the product of their own will than the product of their environment and exposure.
For the many parents who are struggling to encourage their little girls to play with toys that have long been referred to as “boy toys,” Ace & Riley has a solution.
As the aunt of two little girls, Dr. Tanner is aware of the attraction that feminine clothing creates. “My nieces absolutely love Frozen and they wake up every morning and want to dress up like Elsa,” she recalls. “I want Ace & Riley to take on the feminine side of the game while developing the cognitive pathways necessary to succeed in STEM areas.”
What Ace & Riley offers little girls is opportunity. Given the worryingly low number of women making careers in STEM fields, it is clear that there has been no history of equal opportunities. A combination of gendered toys and marketing tactics wrongly offers little boys the opportunity to develop their STEM skills at a rate far beyond what little girls can get, and it is time to make changes. The Ace & Riley Science Collection kits come with everything they need to help little girls seize this opportunity and make them feel free for busy mothers and fathers.
Company name: Mindful Media PR
City: West Vancouver
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE: Mindful Media PR