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Mattel Partners With 'Black Girls Code' To Promote Cool, Tech-Savvy Barbie

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A Bay Area nonprofit organization is loving the design of a new technology-savvy, African-American Barbie doll that aims to break racial and gender stereotypes.

The new Barbie has a cool new career: she builds robots and teaches coding.

Robotics Engineer Barbie
Robotics Engineer Barbie (CBS)

Barbie manufacturer Mattel partnered with Oakland nonprofit organization Black Girls Code to to promote the new doll they hope will encourage and inspire kids -- especially girls and minorities -- to pursue a career in science, technology engineering and math, or STEM for short.

The new 2018 "Career of the Year" robotics engineer Barbie comes with a computer, a robot and safety glasses.

KPIX 5 talked to two young "tech divas" with Black Girls Code -- 15-year-old Kimora Oliver and 11-year-old Sumayyah Green -- who both approve of the new design.

Black Girls Code
Black Girls Code "code divas" 15-year-old Kimora Oliver and 11-year-old Sumayyah Green (CBS)

"And she has a puff! I'm like, 'Yasss!'" exclaimed Kimora.

"I can like totally relate to her!" agreed Sumayyah.

Just like Kimora and Sumayyah, the new Barbie Robotics Engineer doll loves STEM.

"She looks like me! She has the same interests as me!" enthused Sumayyah.

"Like her, I love science. It's my favorite subject in school," said Kimora. "Also with coding, when I've been doing workshops with Black Girls Code, you code and then if you see your product at the end. And you're like, 'I did that! I did that!' It's been a really amazing experience for me."

The new version is part of a new generation of Barbie doll intended to inspire a new generation of girls.

"I can see she had the design of the robot, and then when I look at it, it looks like it was 3-D printed," noted Sumayyah.

Robotics Engineer Barbie
Robotics Engineer Barbie (CBS)

"Black Girls Code is breaking barriers, pushing down walls and really empowering our girls to let them know they can be here," explained Amber Morse, the West Coast Program Coordinator for Black Girls Code. "There is a place for them at the table and they are accepted and they have the skill set and they can grow build and create."

Kimora could imagine how the new doll might send young people down a new path.

"I remember when I was younger and I used to have Barbies and they used to have a purses and dogs. I would be like, 'I want to be just like that! I want to get this purse and everything,'" said Kimora. "But now that I see this! And I think other girls will see this and be like, 'I want to get in tech too!'"

Black Girls Code is hosting a series of special robotics expos in the Bay Area and around the country, teaching girls how to program and code. They'll also be giving each girl at the expo a Barbie robotics engineer doll.

For those interested in buying one, the new Barbie robotics engineer doll costs $14. It can be found online at or the Barbie website.

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