American Girl's Doll of the Year 2018 is an astronaut

30 December, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Sherri Guerrero
  • Meet American Girl's 2018 girl of the year: Aspiring astronaut Luciana Vega

A NASA American Girl doll hits stores on January 1 with a goal of getting girls to think about going to Mars, all with encouragement from some of the space agency's top women.

The others include Dr. Ellen Stofan, former NASA chief scientist; Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center; and Maureen O'Brien, the manager of strategic alliances at NASA.

'I think she looks fantastic, but I also like that she has a backpack and it looks like a real astronaut, ' said one of the girls when asked what she thought of Luciana. Luciana's experiences may be familiar for numerous Women@NASA, including astronauts like Megan, who have overcome obstacles to pursue their dreams.

The US space agency said it partnered with the company to share the excitement of space with the public, and in particular, inspire young girls to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"We've had STEM products before, but we really wanted to do a whole character to show girls that STEM is cool", designer Rebecca Dekuiper was quoted as saying.

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As NASA's human spaceflight focus shifts to deep space, including a return to the Moon, and ultimately, Mars, the collaboration with American Girl is timely.

Dr. Behnken, who calls the doll Lucy, explained that she was involved through the entire process.

"It is so important to find exciting new ways to inspire our next generation of space explorers", said NASA astronaut Megan McArthur.

'I've been in space and fixed the Hubble space telescope, so I have some perspective on how we use robotics, how we train for robotics'. There'll also be a "Mission to Mars Sweepstakes", sponsored by American Girl and Scholastic. In the book series that accompanies the character, Luciana is competing to win a scholarship to attend space camp in Alabama, according to ABC News. The 2017 Girl of the Year was Gabriela McBride, an artist, poet and community activist. President of American Girl Katy Dickson said Luciana is "a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader".

For the first time, girls will be able to further engage in Luciana's world by downloading the American Girl app and scanning her catalog pages and products to unlock exclusive content, including augmented reality, trailers and videos, space simulations and quizzes and challenges.

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