An engineering game for girls

Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine
Debbie Sterling, a US engineer who became increasingly frustrated by the very high percentage of men in his profession, thought that something should be done about it. "Only 11% of engineers are women and girls start losing interest in science when they are very young" she writes on her blog. "This is quite worrying and we should try to change that statistic."
She wanted young girls to become more interested in science and engineering so she decided to put her ideas into practice and created GoldieBlox, a game aimed at girls between five and nine years old, that is half way between a story book and a construction kit. The heroine in the story book is a girl named Goldie that has to face a number of engineering challenges– assisted by her trusty friends Nacho the dog, and Katinka, the dolphin ballerina.
Sterling spent a year researching different ways to get girls interested in construction toys, fearing that Lego and Meccano had not managed to do so. "The question was quite simple: boys have spatial attitudes and they like building things; girls, on the other hand, have better verbal capacities and they prefer reading stories," she says. "So I thought we could put those two things together, spatial plus verbal, book series plus building tools."
The research also suggested that girls are not satisfied with the building alone – they want to know the reason behind it. “Girls aren't just interested in 'what' they're building, they want to know 'why' they are building it”, says Sterling.
“Goldie's stories relate to girls'interests because her machines solve real problems and help her friends. The result: girls love it”.


COMPREHENSION

ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-3 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1. Why was Debbie Sterling not very happy at her work?
2. What is the purpose of GoldieBlox?
3. What is the difference between GoldieBlox and other traditional construction games?

ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT, OR USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
4. GoldieBlox is a game specifically designed for girls.
5. The heroine in GoldieBlox works on her own.

USE OF ENGLISH

6. GIVE ONE OPPOSITE FOR “polite”.
7. WHICH WORD IS NOT AN ADJECTIVE?
“Fearful / mouthful / thoughtful / grateful”.
8. FIND IN THE TEXT THE WORD WHICH HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION:
“causing distress or anxiety”.
9. GIVE AN ADJECTIVE WITH THE SAME ROOT AS “rely” (NOUN).
10. TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO THE PASSIVE VOICE.
Parents should not allow boys to stay out longer than girls
11. FILL IN THE GAP WITH A CORRECT FORM OF THE VERB IN BRACKETS.
  • You ________________ better qualifications, if you studied harder. (have)
12. JOIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES USING A RELATIVE. MAKE CHANGES IF NECESSARY.
I invited the girl to play with me. The girl’s brot her is my neighbour.
13 FILL IN THE GAP WITH THE CORRECT OPTION. a) to drink b) drinking c) drink
  • He stopped.....................several years ago. His doctor advised him to do so.

PRODUCTION

14. WRITE A COMPOSITION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 WORDS ABOUT THE TOPIC PROPOSED. YOU MUST FOCUS STRICTLY ON IT:
Should boys and girls play with the same toys? Why?

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