When LEGO® fan designer Maia Weinstock presented her idea for a Women of NASA LEGO® set to the company’s Ideas crowdsourcing platform, it attracted immediate attention and support. Under the headline “Ladies rock outer space”, LEGO® greenlighted her idea for production citing its inspirational value and unique build/play experience as key factors in the selection.
Weinstock’s Women of NASA project was a way for her to celebrate accomplished women in STEM professions. “In all realms of science, engineering and technology, pioneering women have historically been underappreciated for their often-groundbreaking work. We have also seen that when girls and women are given more encouragement in the STEM fields, they become more likely to pursue careers in these areas,” she said. “With this project, I wanted to spotlight a fantastic group of women who have made seminal contributions to NASA history. My dream would be to know that the first human on Mars – or an engineer or computer scientist who helped her get there – played with the LEGO Women of NASA as a child and was inspired to pursue a STEM career as a result.”
LEGO® designers Tara Wike and Gemma Anderson conceived the final design of the Minifigures set, which included NASA women Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. Wike visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to present the final Minifigure designs to Weinstock and Hamilton.
“It was a great experience to give these amazing women their new LEGO® identity and a great honor to personally present Margaret Hamilton with her very own Minifigure,” said Wike. “What they have achieved is truly inspiring to me, and I hope it will inspire children to make their dreams come true.”
The LEGO® Women of NASA set and Minifigures are currently available for purchase at a store near you, or can be found at the LEGO® website.