For all you fans of LEGO and fans of space exploration, good news – the Women of NASA Space LEGO set has arrived!
Sign up for our free monthly newsletter stuffed full of ideas, competitions and offers. PS Did we mention it’s free?
The long-awaited Women of Nasa LEGO Building Set is now available on LEGO’s website.
Maia Weinstock, Science Editor and writer, with a strong personal interest for space exploration as well as the history of women in science and engineering, submitted the idea for the NASA Women set to Lego Ideas, which then received the 10,000 votes necessary to progress.
As Maia wrote on the submission, “Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, a.k.a. NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”
This new fan-designed LEGO set features four pioneering women who made major contributions to the U.S. space program:
Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist: While working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. She is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.
Sally Ride, astronaut, physicist, and educator: A physicist by training, Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983 and one of the best known female astronauts. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences.
Nancy Grace Roman, astronomer: One of the first female executives at NASA, Roman is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA’s astronomy research program.
Mae Jemison, astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur: Trained as a medical doctor, Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.
Recommended Reading: 3 Key Ways Parents can Help Their Child Consider a Career in STEM
The 231-piece set, created by LEGO fan and science writer Maia Weinstock, includes minifigures of all four women and buildable models of the Hubble space telescope and a space shuttle.
While Weinstock initially proposed including mathematician Katherine Johnson (best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon. She was recently portrayed in the Hidden Figures movie) as well, LEGO was unable to obtain permission for her inclusion.
Weinstock is delighted that her set has come to life, observing that it’s “critical to have toys that girls can look at and play with and think, ‘that’s me!’’ or ‘that could be me!’… I also just hope that girls *and* boys will take away from it the sense that women belong in engineering, in mathematics. I hope in some small way it helps to inspire the kids of the future!
Recommended Reading: 4 Nifty Apps for Lego Stop Motion Movies
Over to you now. What do you think of the Women in NASA Space Lego set? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.