In September 2013, LEGO made brand history when it added its first female scientist, Professor C. Bodin, to its 35-year-old minifigures collection. The following August, she got some much needed female company in the lab when the brick maker released Research Institute, its first set of female scientists, which included 3 of the 12 minifigs submitted by geochemist Dr. Ellen Kooijman to the LEGO Ideas contest. That set sold out almost immediately.
Since, LEGO has continued this refreshing trend of including more women in STEM and non-traditional fields to its minifigs offerings, adding them “quietly,” as reported by Scientific American. As we prefer to be loud about this kind of news, here are some of the super cool introductions from 2015.
Space Starter Set – Released this month, it includes a female scientist/aerospace engineer
Deep Sea Explorers Line – features a number of female oceanographers. As Scientific American notes, “A submersible in the Deep Sea Helicopter set appears to pay homage to noted oceanographer Sylvia Earle!”
LEGO Minifigures Series 13 – includes a female paleontologist
Swamp Police Starter Set – includes a police woman who is ready for crime fighting action
Dune Buggy Trailer – includes a female mechanic/operator
Demolition Starter Set – includes a woman demo worker
As for what future, mold breaking building sets might look like, Scientific American highlighted two current user submissions to the LEGO Ideas program. Our brick stacking fingers are crossed that one of them will be as lucky as Dr. Kooijman…
Scientists in History Collection – proposed set includes 8 vignettes:
- Charles Darwin is observing a monkey in a tree as he ponders his theory of evolution, struggling for acceptance from the people.
- Alan Turing, pioneering computer scientist,is in his lab working on a code-breaking computer.
- Mary Anning is down in Dorset trying to extract some fossils.
- Marie Curie is in her lab with her equipment as she experiments with radioactivity
- Thomas Edison is in his workshop with his incandescent lamp and gramophone
- Nikola Tesla is in his lab as he observes his Tesla coil behind the safety of a Faraday cage.
- Rosalind Franklin is using x-ray crystallography to observe the structure of DNA.
- Lise Meitner is experimenting with atoms in her lab as she comes up with her theory of nuclear fission.