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Toy Design Competition
Toys are a great way to learn about science, engineering, and the design process. Sally Ride Science is giving girls and boys in grades five through eight the chance to step out of their classrooms and experience engineering as a fun, creative, collaborative process, relevant to everyday life by creating their dream toy or game for the fifth annual TOYchallenge. The mission of this fun-fueled toy- and game-design competition is to motivate kids, especially girls, to get involved in engineering design and recognize that there's engineering in everything. "We designed TOYchallenge to engage youth in a fun and relevant experience that will change their perceptions of math, science, and technology," said Sally Ride, founder of Sally Ride Science. "It is a great tool for keeping middle school-age kids, especially girls, in the 'technical pipeline,' thus helping to create a diverse new generation of scientists and scientifically literate citizens." Creative kids can easily join in the fun. The competition is open to fifth through eighth graders in the U.S., its territories, or possessions, and Canada during the Fall 2006/Spring 2007 school year. Team size can range from three to six members, half of which must be girls. To get started, teams must: find an adult coach (18 years of age, or older) and sign up by December 15 (fee is $45 per team); then choose from themed-toy categories including "Games for the Family," "Get out and Play," and "Toys That Teach" and start brainstorming. More information is available at

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