Barbie (the astronaut) takes off in zero gravity to inspire young girls | World news

Barbie is in partnership with the European Space Agency and she is the only European female astronaut with the aim of inspiring young girls to pursue careers in space and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

As part of an initiative called This World Space Week, a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll inspired by Samantha Cristoforetti will go on sale in the UK and Europe.

Ms Cristoforetti, 44, will innovate next year by becoming the first European to command the International Space Station.

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Samantha Cristoforetti holding her Barbie doll

She hopes the doll, which was filmed floating in weightlessness like it will be on the space station, can inspire young people.

“As astronauts, something that is close to our hearts inspires the next generation,” said Cristoforetti.

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“I think boys and girls, they get excited about things because they see something intriguing because they see something funny and then maybe these pictures will ignite a passion in the heart of some girls and it will be amazing. “

Learn more about the International Space Station

As part of the program, educational resources are also made available to highlight different space careers and teach children of primary school age about space.

Isabel Ferrer, Barbie’s Marketing Director for Europe and Emerging Markets, said: “With careers in space and STEM still under-represented by women, Barbie is using her platform this Global Week. space to show girls exciting and diverse roles and activities in space to inspire them to explore their limitless. potential.”

Undated photo released by the European Space Authority (ESA) of astronaut Samantha Cristoferetti's Barbie doll.  The Barbie brand has partnered with ESA and its only active female astronaut to inspire young girls to consider science, technology, engineering and math (Stem) as a viable career option .  Issue date: Monday, October 4, 2021.
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It is hoped the doll will spark children’s imaginations and lead them to consider careers in space and STEM

However, this program is not only aimed at aspiring astronauts. It is also focused on potential engineers and space scientists like Dr Nicol Caplin.

As a Deep Space Exploration Scientist in the Directorate of Human and Robotics Exploration, she is working on a number of astrobiology experiments for the International Space Station.

Dr Caplin, who noticed a lack of gender diversity not only in space, but in STEM careers in general, said young girls seeing the doll could be “extremely powerful.”

“I think it’s pretty hard to be what you can’t see and therefore imagine yourself as a Barbie doll floating in space. Maybe that could have a spark and could really inspire some girls to. put on a spacesuit and go into space themselves someday. “

EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 MONDAY, OCTOBER 4 Undated photo released by the European Space Authority (ESA) of astronaut Samantha Cristoferetti's Barbie doll.  The Barbie brand has partnered with ESA and its only active female astronaut to inspire young girls to consider science, technology, engineering and math (Stem) as a viable career option .  Issue date: Monday, October 4, 2021.
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Doll’s Zero-G flight marks the start of World Space Week

Dr Caplin, who joined ESA as a research fellow at the age of 28, said she believes nurturing young people is mostly about choice.

“It’s not so much about forcing girls to do STEM. I think it’s about giving young girls the choice of knowing what they want to do in life and knowing what’s theirs. open.

“That’s all the kid likes and if it turns out to be science, I totally agree and that should be encouraged. Maybe this toy could help that. “


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