If you’re a fan of women in STEM and crochet, then you’re going to love our new project! We are creating a series of patterns for amigurumi dolls of women in STEM.
“Amigurumi” is a style of doll that has been very popular in Japan for several decades and which is now also popular in the west. Amigurumi dolls tend to be very cute, and are crocheted or knitted.
There are uncountable numbers of patterns available online for cats, dogs, fossils, sharks, cupcakes, trees, blood cells, snails and pretty much everything else you can think of. But, we discovered, there are very few patterns for dolls of women in STEM, an oversight we could not let stand.
Our first pattern features Dr Mae Jemison, who became the first woman of colour in space when she went into orbit on 12 September 1992 on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Jemison initially worked at the Kennedy Space Centre on the Shuttle’s computer software. Whilst in space on Mission STS-47, she worked on two bone cell experiments, as well as experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness. She worked at Nasa for six years, and spent over 190 hours in space.
The doll is very simple to make, using basic techniques like the double crochet (US: single crochet), increase and decrease.
The pattern is free to download, and we are already working on a sequel! If our amigurumi patterns prove popular then we will launch a Kickstarter project to produce a book. If you want to make sure you are amongst the first to hear about our next pattern, or hear about pattern updates, sign up to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Why are we doing this?
There are many cultural and structural barriers that reduce the number of girls and women who pursue an education or career in STEM. The idea that STEM subjects are “not for girls” is pervasive. Girls understand gender stereotypes and start thinking about careers from a very young age. The WISE Campaign’s report, Not For People Like Me found that “from age 10 start to self-identify as ‘not STEM’ so start to plan not to study STEM post-16 very early”.
We know that one-off interventions are ineffective and that we need to focus on long- term structural and cultural changes. This includes initiatives to challenge stereotypes, provide careers information, and create suitable role models, all with the aim of supporting and encouraging girls and women to achieve their full potential in STEM.
This series of crochet patterns aims to introduce girls to STEM role models early to help them understand that they can indeed have a career in STEM.