Have you ever looked at the dolls available for girls and wondered where all the great STEM role models are? There are uncountable numbers of patterns available online for knitted and crocheted cats, dogs, fossils, sharks, cupcakes, trees, blood cells, snails and pretty much everything else you can think of, but very few dolls for girls interested in STEM. We decided to fill that gap with crochet patterns in the Japanese amigurumi style.
Patterns are free to download, and if they prove popular we aim to use Kickstarter to raise funds to put together a book.
The figures are very simple to make, using basic techniques like the double crochet (US: single crochet), increase and decrease. You can view the projects on Ravelry, where you can add your own projects and photos; to download a PDF of the full pattern just click the links.
Dr Mae Jemison
Dr Mae Jemison became the first woman of colour in space on 12 September 1992, going into orbit on the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
This pattern depicts Dr Jemison in her orange Nasa flightsuit, producing a doll around 25cm tall.
Dr Eugenie Clark
Dr Eugenie Clark was an ichthyologist who studied sharks and tropical fishes.
This pattern depicts Dr Clark in her diving suit with gas tank and gauge, diving mask, and breathing tube, producing a doll around 25cm tall.
Dr Anandibai Joshi
Dr Anandibai Joshi was the first Indian woman to gain a medical degree, and the possibly the first Indian woman to set foot in America.
This pattern depicts Dr Joshi in a sari and pallu, producing a doll around 21cm tall.
Why are dolls of women in STEM important?
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.