littleBits Breaks Down Gender Stereotypes at White House Panel on Media and Toys

CEO Ayah Bdeir Speaks on the Importance of Gender-Neutral
STEM/STEAM Tools, Alongside LEGO, Disney, Mattel, DC Comics and Other
Global Industry Heavyweights at Critical Capitol Hill Event

Conference Sponsored by The White House Council on Women and
Girls, The U.S. Department of Education and The Media, Diversity and
Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ayah Bdeir, CEO of littleBits,
the technology start-up that is empowering everyone to create
inventions, large and small, with its easy-to-use platform of electronic
building blocks, was selected as a case study panelist for a conference
focused on breaking down gender stereotypes in children’s media and
toys, sponsored by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the
Department of Education, and the Media, Diversity and Social Change
Initiative at the University of Southern California. The April 6th
event, entitled “Helping Our Children Explore, Learn and Dream
Without Limits: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes in Media and Toys,”
re-ignited
the cultural dialogue around gender equality. Ms. Bdeir’s presentation
highlighted how littleBits has successfully bridged the gender gap with
its gender-neutral platform, inspiring young girls and young boys to
embrace STEAM (Science, Technology, Art and Mathematics) through
invention-based learning.

littleBits was among a handful of top children’s companies selected to
participate in this dynamic event, and was featured alongside some of
the most globally prestigious children’s brands including LEGO, Disney,
Mattel, and DC Comics.

Ayah Bdeir, CEO of littleBits, said, “We strongly believe that gender
neutrality is essential for encouraging girls to pursue STEM and STEAM.
Everything at littleBits–from the color of our circuit boards to our
packaging to the inventions we feature–has been deliberately designed
to be gender-neutral and accessible to everyone, to unleash creativity
and instill a love of STEM/STEAM through the cycle of inventing. We hope
the conversation today with our fellow panelists will help to keep the
spotlight on the need to fight gender stereotypes and encourage young
girls, like their male classmates, to pursue STEAM.”

As part of the conversation around breaking down gender stereotypes,
Bdeir presented littleBits’ initiative of bringing project-based
learning, and ways to seamlessly integrate STEM and STEAM into
curriculum, to schools across the United States. Already, littleBits is
collaborating with 3,000 schools and 12,000 educators, and they are
currently working on a summer program with the New York City Department
of Education, in an effort to make STEAM more accessible to all students
of both genders and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. Their newest
product, the littleBits
STEAM Student Set
, an easy-to-use toolbox for invention-based
learning, is currently available to pre-order at www.littlebits.com/education
and will hit shelves on April 15th.

Beyond Ms. Bdeir’s panel and presentation, the April 6th
conference focused on how children’s ambitions, skills, and interest are
shaped early on by the media they consume and toys they play with. The
main question posed to participants was how we can ensure that
children’s media and toys expose them to diverse role models and teach
them a variety of skills so that they can fulfill their potential. STEM
industries offer some of the top paying, most in-demand careers, yet
women hold only 28 percent of STEM jobs.

About littleBits

littleBits is the New York-based hardware startup that is on a mission
to Democratize Hardware by empowering everyone to Create
Inventions
, large and small, with a platform of easy-to-use Electronic
Building Blocks
. The company’s innovative building blocks snap
together with magnets to allow anyone to build, invent, and prototype
with electronics independent of age, gender and technical background –
no soldering, wiring, or programming required. littleBits breaks down
powerful technology – from music with the littleBits Synth Kit, to the
Internet of Things with the Smart Home Kit – and makes the technology
accessible and easy to understand. The company was founded in 2011 by
MIT graduate, TED Senior Fellow and cofounder of the Open Hardware
Summit, Ayah Bdeir, and has grown to be a global leader in hardware.
Bdeir was named one of
Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business
, one of one
of Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and “Entrepreneurs to Watch,” one of
Entrepreneur’s “10 Leaders to Watch,” one of Popular Mechanics’ 25
Makers Who Are Reinventing
the
American Dream,
and one of
MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35
. The littleBits
platform includes more than seven kits and 67 interoperable modules with
millions of products sold in over 100 countries around the world. The
company was named in CNN’s “Top 10 Startups to Watch”, one of the CNBC
Next List, and has been profiled by the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Wired,
Popular Mechanics. To learn more, visit littleBits.com.

Contacts

For littleBits
Nicole Pfeifer, 212-981-5222
nicole_pfeifer@dkcnews.com