STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

I don’t know if it’s just because Ameli is of a particular STEM/STEAM age, or if it’s that there’s been a huge push in that direction lately, but involving girls in science, and kids in science generally, seems to be everywhere at the moment. We were recently sent a Wild Science Perfume Factory set to review and it’s been a huge hit here.

Ameli is quite science-keen anyway, with Project MC2 ranking high on her favourites list, so the Wild Science Perfume Factory is right up her street. You know how some toys are a the thing of the moment for five minutes, then they aren’t a thing at all five minutes later? This isn’t one of them. On the first go, Ameli spent over an hour mixing and matching – an hour’s a long time for something to hold her attention! Since then, she’s taken to applying her perfume daily and creating top ups from time to time too.

The kit includes a stand, a scoop, five vials, a perfume bottle, tweezers, stirring sticks, mixing pot, red liquid pigment, special base perfumes, sticky labels, Sodium Polyacrylate Crystals, a measuring cup, a graduated pump and cotton ball filters.

The base perfumes are Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Peppermint and Rose essential oils.

Read more: STEM/STEAM Wild Science Perfume Factory

New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

Project Mc² is back on Netflix UK with new episodes, and an accompanying new product line based on the Netflix series.

If you aren’t familiar with Project Mc², it’s a series about a team of six super-smart girls who use their love of science and spy skills to undertake missions for a top-secret, all female organization called NOV8 – or innovate – to us less acronym savvy.

The six main characters are McKeyla McAlister (Mc2), Adrienne Attoms (A2), Camryn Coyle (C2), Bryden Bandweth (B2), Ember Evergreen (E2) and Devon D’Marco (D2), and each girl has an area of speciality. McKeyla is a spy, Adrienne is a culinary chemist, Camryn is a whizz with electronics, Bryden is the online guru of the group, Ember can grow pretty much anything and Devon is an artist extraordinaire who opens up to the group in this latest series.  Each girl ticks at least one of the STEM/STEAM boxes, many tick more, and while their interests are varied, they make a great time when they work together.
Project MC2

In the new episodes and old character returns, and the girls have to use their smarts to not only save him and save the day, but there’s romantic progress for McKeyla and Kyle Lewis too.

While the show throws out big words from time to time (mostly chemicals) there’s not a huge amount of education that happens just from watching it, and a lot just ‘works out’ for the characters, but it’s a series aimed at young girls, so you have to watch it with that filter. While I still find the girls a bit vapid-with-smarts, they’re much more interesting and much better role models for girls than many other traditional girl stereotypes I can think of.

There are some general themes that make it worth watching, if you were doing it for entertainment only, like the introduction to the concept of girls-who-love-STEM/STEAM, the value of teamwork, standing by your friends and standing up for yourself. There’s also the ‘girls can do this’ idea, which isn’t bad to start reinforcing from a young age.Read more: New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

5 Ways to Celebrate Science With Kids

I think when we look back on our lives, some day far off in the future, we’re going to realise that one of the biggest things that changed during this generation was the perception of girls/women in the workplace, and specifically, in careers like medicine, science, mathematics, engineering. While my personal interest in those subjects is … lacking… it’s something that I’m incredibly grateful for. I love knowing that if they choose it, it’s an option that’s even more available to my daughters than it was to me.

What? You’re not ancient! 

No, I’m not. But I struggled so much with math in the last two years of school and I know beyond a doubt that it wasn’t a problem with me, but with my teacher. I passed every mock test, knew all the answers at my private math tutor, but sat down in front of an exam, and I’d make myself sick. Honestly, I ground my teeth so badly, I developed abscesses and missed one of my final exams!

And the teacher in question? I remember distinctly a comment about how maths just wasn’t really for girls.

Was I going to be a chemical engineer, a doctor (my younger brother is both those things – proud big sister that I am!) before that comment? No, probably not. Actually, definitely not. But did failing miserably at math affect my chances of university entrance? Yes, it did. I passed entrance with age exemption, eventually. Did it affect my confidence? Certainly did. Do I think I can ‘do math’? No. Till I actually do it, then I’m not so bad.

So, I think that looking back on my life, I think the changed attitude to women in science will be one of the most wonderful changes of this generation.

And it’s with that in mind that I love things like British Science Week.Read more: 5 Ways to Celebrate Science With Kids