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WES and Lottie show any girl can be an engineer!

Published: 6 November 2017 - Sarah Mead

During Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (6 - 10 November), members of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Young Members’ Board (YMB) have organised a ‘Lottie Tour’, where over 25 WES members take a Lottie Doll to work. During the week they will be posting photos on Twitter and Instagram of Lottie doing everyday engineering work. Companies involved include British Sugar, Leonardo, University of Bristol and ARM. This follows a successful #LottieTour in 2016, where Robot Girl Lottie toured the country. This year, a full range of Lottie dolls will be used to show that any girl can be an engineer. As well as the hashtags #LottieTour and #TEWeek17, posts also featured #EngineeringForAll to reflect this change.

The aim of this project is to use dolls to engage KS1 and KS2 girls in engineering and STEM more generally. The idea is that if a young girl can see a doll that looks like them or shares their hobbies, then they can start to imagine themselves going into STEM, and hopefully this can keep their passion for STEM subjects going when they progress through school and on to university.

This project is being organised by YMB chair Jo Douglas, who said, “#LottieTour was really successful last year, and we wanted to build on that while doing something a bit different this year. It’s important to show that all girls can be engineers, and using a full range of dolls really supports this message. There’s nothing wrong with liking pink or being more stereotypically ‘girlie’ and still wanting to be an engineer!”.

Lottie Dolls have sought to fill a gap in the toy market with their real-life child proportions and ambition to disrupt gender stereotypes. In 2016 Stargazer Lottie even travelled to the International Space Station with British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake on the #Principia mission and became the ‘first doll in space’.

Lottie Dolls MD Ian Harkin said, “We want our toys to spark imaginations, to inspire hours of make-believe, to let children themselves set the rules. And – just maybe – those precious moments spent in exploration and invention, in childhood, will lay the foundations for incredible achievements in adulthood”.

WES President Benita Mehra added, "The Lottie Tour in 2016 was fabulous! Lottie drew attention to engineering and where women work in technical roles in a way that was magical. We know it had a huge impact with tweets and other mentions in social media as well as blogs on the WES and Lottie websites. This year the WES Young Members’ Board is making the tour bigger and better. I can't wait to see where Lottie gets to!”.

All of the images from the week can be viewed by searching #LottieTour on Twitter or Instagram, or following @YMB1919 and @Lottie_dolls.

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