When these products were first brought to my attention I despaired a little. I had seen these stacked up in WH Smith's and lamented their presence over any badge or sticker making kits. Partly because that is what I was after but also because I am fond of the notion little girls might have interests outside make up.
Or maybe this is just another bizarre separation of boys and girls.
The Wild Science website shows boys having wild science fun. Or rather, boys dressed as mad professors by a kit which sadly adheres to EU regulations. Therefore the wild science is somewhat restricted to…slime. But at least they get safety goggles with their kits to give the suggestion of risk.
The girls are shown all in pastels, oddly nowhere near any kind of apparatus, jumping for joy. Or experiencing My First Adverse Reaction to Cosmetics™.
No wonder the sciences are viewed as a dull subject in schools and the only fun we can have with it is making soap in the shape of a flower. It is a treacherous road to take allowing our children to take the attitude science and engineering is something other people do. But that’s what we are doing. Even worse we are continuing to present them as things only boys do.
There are some great projects out there children and adults can get involved in. For instance Galaxy Zoo encourages amateur astronomers to contribute to the classifying of galaxies.
I realise a Wild Science product is supposed to be a toy parents can leave their children alone with and not worry a child’s eye is going anywhere. But there’s no reason it needs to be divided into BOY/GIRL and no reason it can’t be something that is a little more intriguing and explosive than a bath bomb.