LEGO Education partners with NASA to launch STEAM learning series ahead of the Artemis I mission

LEGO Education has detailed a new collaboration with NASA to launch a free digital STEAM learning series this September, designed to spark curiosity and engagement in STEAM through the upcoming Artemis I mission.

Called Build to Launch: A STEAM Exploration Series, the 10-week series includes interactive episodes and open-ended prompts grouped into three learning themes aligned with the mission: Getting to Space, Testing and Transport, and Working in Space.

Teachers will be able to implement this standards-based series for grades K-12 into their curriculum. From astronauts to engineers and flight controllers, each interactive and hands-on lesson will highlight and explain careers at NASA to inspire students to see themselves in these roles.

Students will then work together to solve problems like the NASA teams they’re learning about. Throughout the series, students will also follow along and interact with the LEGO Space Team, featuring LEGO minifigures as members of the flight and ground crews involved in a typical space mission.

Esben Stærk, president of LEGO Education, said: “We are at a pivotal moment in education, and to rethink how students learn we must provide meaningful, hands-on learning experiences. The LEGO Education and Artemis lesson series creates joyful learning moments and brings STEAM learning to life through the real-world application of space exploration – a topic that evokes curiosity and awe in students of all ages and abilities.”

Students and teachers will be able to tune into student press conferences hosted on the LEGO Education YouTube channel by LEGO Education SPIKE Prime minifigures Kate and Kyle as they prepare for the mission as part of the Space Team. Each episode will set up the theme of the next module, and students will be encouraged to submit questions ahead of time for Kate and Kyle and their NASA counterparts to answer.

The lessons were developed in collaboration with NASA to excite teachers and students about STEAM learning and Artemis I, the first in a series of increasingly complex lunar missions that will enable human exploration on and around the Moon where NASA will prepare for eventual human exploration of Mars.

During the flight, the uncrewed spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

As students progress through each learning module inspired by this mission, they will experience some of the important jobs leading up to launch which will test their skills like problem solving and collaboration. Students will work hands-on designing and prototyping, iteratively testing, and working together to build and assemble parts much like the stacking of the mission’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

“Every NASA mission requires people from a wide range of STEM careers, skills, backgrounds, and interests. Today’s students are the Artemis Generation – learning about space and the Artemis I mission through hands-on activities will introduce them to the many careers they can pursue. We look forward to their contributions to push the frontiers of scientific research and expand our understanding of the universe,” said Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator of the Office of STEM Engagement.

The digital learning series will be made available online for free and can easily be adapted for non-tech use with materials available in classrooms everywhere or with LEGO Education sets.

Teachers and parents are invited to sign up to receive more information at and be notified when the Teacher Resource Guide becomes available before the full experience launches in September 2021.

GoldieBlox prepares for rapid growth with new exec team and focus on consumer products

The toy firm turned media and entertainment powerhouse, GoldieBlox has made a suite of new appointments to its leadership team as the company prepares for rapid growth in the coming years, including further moves into the consumer products sector, led by its new EVP of operations and partnerships, Tim Erickson.

Having started out from humble beginnings on Kickstarter back in 2012, GoldieBlox has evolved into a media and entertainment powerhouse that aims to lead the gender equity charge for girls in STEAM.

As the company has grown, so has its charge to inspire and educate girls around the world to follow their STEAM dreams. The expansion of the executive team reinforces GoldieBlox’s commitment to creating content, products and partnerships that move the needle for girls to get interested in STEAM as a passion, hobby or career.

“I am incredibly excited to lead this experienced team as we build on our current success to take GoldieBlox into the future,” said Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO. “As we enter a growth phase, each of these executives brings a unique and complementary skill set to the company.”

The new appointments to the leadership team, include naming Peter Pergola as its new operating partner. The former COO of The Arca Group also assumes a seat on the Board of Directors and will bring a wealth of experience across the developments and commercialisation of IP.

“I am thrilled to join GoldieBlox in the journey to continue to build the original IP the company is known for,” said Pergola. “As a father to two young daughters, the mission of GoldieBlox is incredibly important and timely. We have a few very exciting commercial opportunities rapidly emerging, and I’m also thrilled at the fast traction we are making across the media investment landscape.”

Meanwhile, Melissa Schneider has been named chief content officer, where she will oversee content development, production, and platform partnerships. Schneider was most recently EVP at digital studio New Form, where she built the development slate and production team from the ground up and led the creative development and licensing efforts for two of the first digital to linear series deals with Final Space for TBS in 3rd Season and I Ship It for CW.

Ferrell McDonald joins as chief marketing officer to oversee brand development, digital and traditional marketing, communications, and experiences. McDonald comes to GoldieBlox from Tinder, where she served as CMO for the popular dating app. Her previous experience also includes senior marketing roles with Starz and Nike.

Tim Erickson fills the newly created role of executive vice president, operations and partnerships, where he is tasked with creating brand experiences for GoldieBlox partners through consumer products, innovative retail, and immersive storytelling. In addition, Erickson assumes responsibility for business development and the company’s operations. His previous experience at DreamWorks and Fox involved creating original merchandise and brand experiences.

Finally, Elizabeth Miller has been appointed creative director to develop the company’s brand narrative across functions and partners. Miller has served in senior creative and marketing roles at 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Cloudco Studios, Hasbro, DreamWorks Animation, AwesomenessTV and Disney.

GoldieBlox is a media and entertainment company using storytelling to make STEAM fun. It aims to educate and empower young girls by sharing tools to build their confidence and their dreams. Through products, content, partnerships and programs, GoldieBlox aims to close the gender gap in STEM.