LabCandy Kickstarter Aims to Get Girls Excited About Science



Picture a scientist and what comes to mind? I bet it’s Einstein. Or Doc. Brown from “Back to the Future.” Or maybe a perfect combination of the two like this guy:

Olivia Pavco-Giaccia thinks that’s a problem. As she writes on LabCandy’s Kickstarter page, women hold only 24% of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs. And Pavco-Giaccia wants to change that. But how do you get young girls interested in science if every time you say the word, Einstein’s “nerdy old guy” face pops into their heads?

Pavco-Giaccia has a few ideas. LabCandy provides fun home science experiments. But the big idea behind the company is to package these experiements with accessories. Usually found only in bland white or plastic, LabCandy provides bright, customizable equipment designed to excite would-be young female scientists.

LabCandy offers brightly colored lab coats to replace the bland, old white ones

And goggles with customizable “bling” (rhinestones) that girls can decorate themselves

Pavco-Giaccia, a student at Yale University, told us about her breakthrough moment in the development of LabCandy: “The day I offered our first prototype to my seven-year-old cousin Ava, She put on the bright lab coat along with a fun pair of goggles and looked in the mirror. ‘Is this what a scientist looks like?’ she asked me. ‘Yes,’ I said, and her resulting smile was so bright, I knew that I had to see LabCandy through to market.”

But appealing experiments, bright lab coats and DIY goggles are not the end of LabCandy’s quest to brighten the mental picture of a scientist. The LabCandy combo pack also includes an adventure storybook to provide actual characters that, Pavco-Giaccia hopes, “any little girl can relate to.” Through the storybook, she’s trying to provide strong, female and science-minded role models.

The book, written by Pavco-Giaccia and illustrated by Emily Manjaraz, is in fact inspired by her own experiences. She told us that as a freshman in high school, “I was assigned to Ms. Denise Rietz as my academic advisor. Ms. Rietz taught biology, and she pushed me to pursue my passion.” Head over to her Kickstarter for an excerpt of the book, and you’ll find a character in the children’s book named Ms. Reitz. “She helps Ava save the day, just as she did for me many times,” says Pavco-Giaccia.

LabCandy’s Kickstarter campaign already achieved its $20,000 goal, but with 19 more days to go, they’ve added more goals for the 30 and 40k mark. Make sure to click these links to check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

August 28, 2014