Project Mc² is a line of dolls that aims to teach girls science lessons in a fun and interesting way. In January 2016 the brand announced that it will be introducing a new series of dolls for the Spring 2016 season. Hence, for 2016 the four dolls–McKeyla, Adrienne, Camryn and Bryden–will come with NEW science experiments, which will have girls be even more excited about S.T.E.A.M. education! Girls can now create their own perfume, invisible ink pen, light up bracelet and a pet robot! What’s more, the Spring 2016 line features NEW separate experiment kits: Circuit Beats and Lie Detector!
Recently, this Examiner was provided with a Camryn doll for review. Camryn comes with a Wind-Up “pet robot” which is literally ready to roll once unpackaged. To make the robot more interesting, children are encouraged to place a strawberry or a marshmallow on the wind-up base and decorate it with the included accessories–namely a set of glasses with a mustache attached–or pieces from home. This toy comes basically ready to be played with–after fighting through the intense packaging, that is–and although it promotes STEAM it does not require children to actually engage in any STEAM activity in order to “create” the robot. For instance, there is no actual robotic assembly required. However, the doll does come with this scientific information that helps to better explain the how the included mechanics work:
Wind-up toys are all about energy. When you turn the key on your robot’s base, a thin, coiled strip of metal called a mainspring gets tighter and tighter and squeezes into a smaller and smaller space, storing energy. Once you let go of the key, the potential energy stored up in the mainspring turns into kinetic energy. The connected gears and axles rotate, making your robot zoom!
The Camryn doll is dressed in her “undercover spy outfit” that reflects her individual style. Accessories include a hat, spy disguise glasses, a toolbox and beaker-shaped comb. However, like most dolls, she can be re-dressed in other clothes from both her toy line and clothes of other dolls of similar size (her feet, however, are bigger than some other dolls and so she cannot share shoes as easily as clothes). The biggest drawback to her appearance is that the gloves she is wearing cannot be removed. Her gloved hands, however, can be so she can share gloves/hands with other dolls from the series. Additionally, if you have the experiment doll from the initial collection, you can take her “regular” hands (without gloves) and put them on Camryn.
Camryn is a strikingly beautiful doll with thick auburn hair and a body that has limbs and joints similar to an actual human being–considering that many dolls can barely move their legs and cannot alter their arms at all, Camryn is a fantastic improvement. Yet the best thing about the Camryn doll is her eyes. Far from being the dull and lifeless matte plastic eyes associated with many dolls, Camryn’s eyes are shiny and have depth. She also has long and soft eyelashes and hints of well-applied silver makeup. For her looks alone, this doll is likely to appeal to a lot of little girls.
For parents who are looking to gently introduce their children to STEAM subjects, or are simply looking to buy their kids a really beautiful and very-playable doll, Camryn is a great choice and deserving of 4 out of 5 stars. All the dolls retails for $24.99. The other three dolls available are:
• Adrienne–the chemist of the group–comes with the ability to make your own perfume using household ingredients such as rose petals, rosewater or tap water, and vanilla. Break up the rose petals to release essential oils containing natural fragrance. The oils are the essence of a plant’s scent and when you mix the crushed rose petals and rosewater together, you infuse and enhance the rosewater with the characteristics of the flower, giving your perfume an extra rosy scent. The articulated Adrienne doll is dressed in her undercover spy outfit that reflects her individual style. Her gloved hands make sure she leaves no fingerprints behind. Accessories include chic sunglasses, spy disguise glasses, purse and beaker-shaped comb.
• McKeyla comes with an Invisible Ink Pen that can also be created using household ingredients like baking soda and water. Mix baking soda and water to create invisible ink and pour the mixture into the pen chamber. Your ink may seem invisible when you’re writing your secret message, but the pen is actually leaving a residue of sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). When you rub your paper with a berry or tea bag, the acid in those items creates a chemical reaction with the baking soda, a base. That reaction makes your message become visible! The articulated McKeyla doll is dressed in her undercover spy outfit that reflects her individual style. Her gloved hands make sure she leaves no fingerprints behind. Accessories include McKeyla’s Ultimate Lab Kit, beanie hat, spy disguise glasses and beaker-shaped comb.
• Bryden comes with a Light-Up Bracelet that can be made using tap water. Materials that conduct electricity contain charged particles that can move around. The bracelet’s hidden wires contain charged particles called electrons, but the wires are not connected and the electrons have nowhere to go. Impurities in water, such as salt, also contain charged particles called ions. Once you add water to the bracelet, those ions help complete the electrical circuit by giving the electrons a path to travel. The electrical current can now flow through the bulbs and light them up! The articulated Bryden doll is dressed in her undercover spy outfit that reflects her individual style. Her gloved hands make sure she leaves no fingerprints behind. Accessories include cast mask, spy disguise glasses, cat ear headband and beaker-shaped comb.
Yet that’s not all. Aside from the dolls the Project Mc² will be releasing other items too. These additional products include:
• Project Mc² Circuit Beats–Make music out of almost anything! Complete an electrical circuit to turn bananas into a piano. Or use a flower, a glass of water, a scoop of ice cream – whatever you can dream up that conducts electricity — and you will be able to bang out some super cool beats. Select from 5 different sound options – piano, drums, guitar, cat sounds or record your own! Wear your cat ear speaker headband to broadcast your beats as is seen in the Project Mc² Netflix original series. The Circuit beats retails for $34.99.
• Project Mc² Lie Detector–Discover who’s telling the truth and who’s lying. Prank your friends and family! When someone lies, his or her body often produces small reactions from being nervous or stressed. One of those reactions is a small release of sweat. That moisture increases the skin’s electrical conductivity, or galvanic skin response, and the lie detector reads it as a fib as seen in the Project Mc² Netflix original series. The Lie Detector retails for $16.99.
• Project Mc² Atomic Mixer–Make your own fizzy candy and other treats. You can do it again and again just using ingredients from your own kitchen. When you give sugar, baking soda and citric acid a whirl in the mixer to make fizzy candy, not much happens. But pop the mixture in your mouth, your saliva dissolves the citric acid, and a chemical reaction happens. The citric acid and the baking soda produces carbon dioxide bubbles, causing that fun fizzy sensation! The Atomic Mixer retails for $9.99.
• Project Mc² CO2 Rocket–Make your own CO2-powered “Message in a Bottle” Rocket. There is a hidden chamber so you can blast a top-secret message sky high! You can do it again and again using ingredients from your own kitchen, like baking soda and vinegar. Vinegar and baking soda react to create carbon dioxide gas. The gas causes pressure to build in the rocket, and when there is enough pressure, the rocket is propelled upward. The CO2 retails for $14.99.
Anyone who is looking to find a fun and unique way to educate girls about science should certainly look into the items offered by Project Mc². To learn more, visit the official website.