American Girls Astronaut Doll Inspires Kids to Dream Big
The new American Girls doll hopes to inspire children – boys and girls alike – to reach for the stars.
In Luciana Vega, children will meet an 11-year-old Chilean-American aspiring astronaut who wants to be the first person to go to Mars.
Not only will children learn about Luciana’s smarts and intelligence when they read the books that go along with this American Girl doll, but they’ll also learn that it takes creativity, teamwork, and leadership to get things done.
Part of Luciana’s story takes place at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, a real place where kids go to learn about science and space.
Pat Ammons is Director of Communications for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, which hosts Space Camp, and said they are thrilled to be part of Luciana’s story.
“What we do here is try to inspire children to think about their futures, to go back to school and take classes they may not have taken before. We think its important in that it helps children dream, see the possibilities for their futures,” she said. “There are a lot of girls who are going to be very interested in this character. We’ve heard from many Space Camp alumni who said, ‘If only I’d had a doll like that when I was a child.’”
Luciana will come with three books that chronicle her journey to be the first person on Mars. Those books were written by Erin Teagan and published by Scholastic.
Katie Woehr, Senior editor at scholastic, is really excited about these books and the partnership with American Dolls to inspire more young girls to go into STEM programs.
“What stands out to me about Luciana’s story is that today’s girls are told anything is possible, they can be whoever they want be, but achieving your dreams is hard work and takes a lot of small steps to make that giant leap,” she said.” Luciana puts her whole heart into reaching her dreams to be her first person on Mars, she’s a born leader, but has a lot to learn. Her story empowers girls to defy stereotypes, to embrace risks and failure, and to approach their goals with bravery, curiosity and wonder.”
To make sure the books are accurate, American Girl and Scholastic worked with an all-female advisory board, including Dr. Ellen Stofan, former NASA Chief Scientist, Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center; Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken, NASA Astronaut; and Maureen O’Brien, Manager of Strategic Alliances at NASA.
Also, a team of American Girl editors and product designers visited Space Camp and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to gain insight into a day in the life of a Space Camp trainee—from putting on space suits and learning about the “right” way to eat in space to conducting a mission in micro-gravity.
Hopefully, this latest American Girl doll will be an inspiration for girls and boys to take an interest in math and science, and maybe, they’ll be those future astronauts to Mars.
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