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Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

2018 'Girl Of The Year' Doll Is An Aspiring Astronaut

2018 'Girl Of The Year' Doll Is An Aspiring Astronaut

American Girl has released some pretty wonderful dolls over the past year, including Melody Ellison (a civil rights-era doll), Suzie "Z" Yang (the first Korean-American doll), Nanea Mitchell (a doll from Pearl Harbor-era Hawaii), and even Logan Everett (the first American Boy). "We've had STEM products before, but we really wanted to do a whole character to show girls that STEM is cool".

"Luciana is our first character that's really immersed in STEM", Rebecca Dekuiper, a designer at American Girl, said in a video about the making of Luciana. Nasa astronaut Megan McArthur said that to stimulate our next generation it is necessary to find out new ways to grab their interest in space exploration.

Katy Dickson, the president of American Girl, called Luciana "a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader", in a statement announcing her as the brand's 2018 girl of the year.

The Luciana Vega doll and its full product line, including STEM-inspired accessories and outfits, will launch on January 1, 2018 online, in physical retail stores, and trough American Girl's catalog. Interested viewers got her first view on Thursday, 28 December, on "Good Morning, America".

The company is even sponsoring 20 girls to attend a real space camp, just like Luciana. STEM college majors had an average starting salary of $65,000, or nearly 25% higher than those in non-STEM fields, according to a 2014 Department of Education report. While young women in grades K through 12 participate in high-level mathematics and science courses at similar rates as their male classmates, and undergraduate women earned 50.3% of science and engineering bachelor's degrees, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women only make up 29% of the science and engineering workforce. "For us, it's all about building girls of strong character, and it's why we're continuing to encourage girls to lead change and embrace #charactercounts". For the latest one, American Girl worked with NASA.

For over 50 years, NASA itself has had many missions to Mars and hopes to finally send astronauts to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s. It is the company's 16 girl of the year.

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