Where To Buy SmartGurlz From 'Shark Tank' To Encourage STEM Learning For Young Women
If you've ever wanted a cool way to learn computer code, the Nov. 12 episode of Shark Tank may have your answer. This week's episode features Smart Girlz, a coding robot for young girls, and you'll want to know where to buy SmartGurlz from Shark Tank to get you or your child programming, pronto. You'll be able to buy the product and its materials through the SmartGurlz official website and through Amazon. The brand calls itself the "world's first coding robot for girls," according to its official website.
After first launching in Europe, SmartGurlz is now available for purchase in the United States, according to The Huffington Post. Author and journalist Sharmi Albrechtsen founded the company in honor of her daughter. In the same Huffington Post interview she said of her decision, "I started SmartGurlz because I couldn’t find any toy robots or drones for my daughter to play with," she said. "The themes of the robots on the market were too boy-oriented — focused around fighting, shooting and even blades — instead of story-based characters." One could argue that girls may also like fighting toys, but Albrechtsen does have a point that "in trying to appeal to girls, manufacturers often take a ‘boy’ product and paint it pink," which isn't the solution to anything.
Read on to see if Smart Girlz is something you — or the Shark Tank investors — may want to invest in.
About The Founder
According to her LinkedIn profile, Albrechtsen is the author of the book A Piece of Danish Happiness and is an MBA graduate of the Copenhagen School of Business. After being based in Denmark, Albrechtsen's LinkedIn now lists her as currently living in Washington, D.C.
She told The Huffington Post that she hopes to encourage kids to create more than just consume.
"I’d love for the ‘maker movement’ to inspire kids to create, instead of just consume technology. I think if we give them the tools to use — kids will be coming home with ‘apps’ they made in school, along with the drawings we post on the refrigerator door."
How It Works
According to the official SmartGurlz website, the robots and dolls are controlled via a tablet app called "SugarCoded." Young women can code and complete "missions" through the app. Forbes reported that "SugarCoded" is based on Blockly, which is often used to teach children computer code.
The product website says that the robots can carry items up to 6 ounces, follow paths, and perform dance parties.
Meet The Characters
The SmartGurlz robots are called Siggy, according to The Huffington Post, and they are the segways on which the dolls are riding. In addition to being robots, the characters also have personalities that promote STEM. "They have story-based missions, adventures, games and books with girl appeal," Albrechtsen told Huffington Post. "The dolls are all strong characters with personalities, who just happen to be chemists, computer hackers and mathematicians."
Among the characters listed on the official website are Zara the tech wizard, who enjoys hiking, making apps, and playing electric guitar; Jen the mechanical engineer who likes repairing cars, blogging, and inventing; and Jun the chemistry whiz who includes baking, learning Italian, and martial arts among her hobbies.
Why Doll Robots
Making SmartGurlz's robots as dolls was a specific choice due to the way young girls learn early in life, Albrechtsen told Forbes. "All the toys that teach technology destroy stuff, or is gender-neutral," Albrechtsen said. "That doesn't work for girls." She elaborated further to The Huffington Post: "In trying to appeal to girls, manufacturers often take a ‘boy’ product and paint it pink. This does not appeal to girls nor does it take into consideration their play patterns. Girls like to role play and create stories."
(Again, worth noting that these are some large assumptions that she's making about how girls learn and what they like to play with, and isn't necessarily rooted in scientific fact.)
Available For Purchase
Currently, the SmartGurlz store is offering the dolls Zara, Jun, Maria, and Jen on their respective Siggies, along with a USB-rechargeable Siggy power pack and SmartGurlz gift cards.
SmartGurlz sounds like a fun new way to encourage young women in STEM, but we will have to see if the Shark Tank investors feel the same way at the end of Albrechtsen's presentation during the Nov. 12 episode.