Barbie doll-maker Mattel Inc. has partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the manufacture of an iconic doll of astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Through the partnership, the organisations aim to encourage more girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Barbie astronaut doll to inspire next-generation
The partnership was in line with a goal to inspire girls to become “the next generation” of astronauts, space scientists, and engineers. It was part of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, or an initiative which aims to level up the playing field for girls globally.
“We are proud to launch this collaboration with the ESA with a clear goal: to inspire girls to become the next generation of astronauts, engineers and space scientists,” Barbie European director for marketing Isabel Ferrer said.
“Barbie has always shown girls that they can be anything, giving them the opportunity to interpret different roles through play and embark on countless number of careers encouraging imagination and self-expression. We know how important it is for girls to have role models, and this new ESA collaboration helps us to take this to an astronomical new level,” she said.
Diversity of talent in space
For her part, ESA chief diversity officer Ersilia Vaudo-Scarpetta said that the ESA is strongly engaged in promoting girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM subjects and space careers in particular, “as we need a diversity of talents to imagine and enable the future in space.”
Apart from the Samantha Cristoforetti Barbie astronaut doll, the partnership also included the launch of a series of motivating short videos targeted for parents and young girls. The videos will kick off with Cristoforetti’s welcome remarks from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy into the ESA European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany.
Cristoforetti said that she was hoping the partnership with Barbie would help young girls and boys to dream without limits.
The Barbie Dream Gap Project is part of Mattel’s 60th anniversary celebration with an iconic doll.