Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen, founders of the toy company Roominate, became friends while students in the master’s engineering program at Stanford. There aren’t many females in the program. When they compared stories on how and why they got into the field, they realized how influential their childhood toys were in shaping their careers. Alice grew up playing in her dad’s robotics lab. Bettina loved building cities and spaceships out of Legos with her older brother.
With young girls in mind, they developed Roominate. Each set comes with modular building pieces that encourage girls to build structures with wheels, spinning windmills, and with motor and light circuits. Roominate toys are designed to help girls develop important STEM skills during play including hands-on problem solving, spatial and fine motor skills.