Even in 2022, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields continue to be dominated by men. Starting from an early age, women are systematically pushed out of STEM fields. Three main reasons contribute to this – gender bias, lack of role models, and a lack of opportunity for skill building at an early age. This paper proposes that STEAM (STEM + Art) toys are critical to empowering the next generation of women in STEM. By mixing art with STEM, STEAM toys provide kids with the opportunity to explore these complex fields of study in creative ways. By making use of play models that girls are drawn to, STEAM toys can engage girls in STEM activities at an early age, building confidence and concrete skills.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Toys--Design; Art--Study and teaching (Preschool); Art--Study and teaching (Elementary); Science--Study and teaching (Preschool); Science--Study and teaching (Elemtary); Mathematics--Study and teaching (Preschool); Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary); Women in science; Women in technology; Women in engineering; Women in mathematics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Lorraine Justice

Advisor/Committee Member

Alex Lobos


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes