I’ve loved science for as long as I can remember. Doing experiments, trying to figure out how things work and always seeking more knowledge was just how I worked. And how I work. Apparently, my girls are seeming to follow in my footsteps. They are big on science. I’m so happy to see that American Girl has embraced science and STEM with the launch of their recently sent to us Girl of the Year Luciana Vega. I’ve even made a fun Luciana Vega Activity Sheet below to go with her.
Meet Luciana Vega
Luciana is an 11-year-old with aspirations of becoming the first person on Mars. She’s a confident, smart and skilled girl. But she has to learn that being a good leader and team player is an important first step. She will face challenges along the way. And she will encourage girls to make their mark, no matter how many challenges they face. Fortunately, she’s able to attend Space Camp where she learns all about leadership. She also works with girls form around the world in her first important mission.
She comes with both a choker and a necklace as well as a belt with a pocket. And her galaxy dress is all the rage along with her hologram-like “moon” boots.
Also, did you notice that fun purple streak in her hair?
“We’re proud to introduce fans to American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality,” says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. “Luciana is a role model for today’s girls—empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life—whatever the goal. For us, it’s all about building girls of strong character, and it’s why we’re continuing to encourage girls to lead change and embrace #charactercounts.”
One of the things about science is that there is a lot of testing, experimenting, more testing and research. My college advisor told me “if you didn’t have to do it over again, it wouldn’t be called “re”search, it would just be called search.” There will always be a lot of searching and trial and error. Being a scientist means there will be many successes, but also many failures…and those are really where the learning comes in.
Luciana’s story is brought to life in a chapter book series written by Erin Teagan. It chronicles Luciana from her place as a young girl of Chilean descent who enjoys and excels at science. She wins a scholarship to Science Camp in Hunstville, Alabama where she launches her dream of landing on Mars one day. Part of the process is transitioning from Space Camp kid to youth astronaut trainee. It’s here that she faces challenges that test her competition spirt and her self-confidence.
The Advisory Board
American Girl worked with NASA, including a task force of advisors who helped ensure the accuracy and authenticity of Luciana’s world—from her story and products to a STEM-based educational program in partnership with Scholastic and Space Camp. They even visited Space Camp where they put on space suits. Plus, they learned how to eat the right way in space.
American Girl’s purpose behind this character is what’s most important. Luciana shows what it can mean to be a girl of strong character today, where creative thinking, collaboration, and STEM literacy provide opportunities for meaningful growth and development. Technology continues to revolutionize what we do and what we know, and Luciana is a character that can bring visibility and valuable lessons to girls at a time in their lives when they’re learning about their infinite potential to change the world.
Her accessories and products
In addition to the fun girl, there is a cool line of space-inspired products like a Mars habitat and flight suit!
The Activity Sheet
I wanted to create something fun for us to do with Luciana. A word search with a coloring/activity sheet seemed just the thing. You can grab the free Luciana Vega activity sheet by clicking the link, or the picture below and print it out for your kids (or for yourself).
Our 9 year old went straight for the word search! However, the 11 year old wanted to color the pictures first.
Blast Off to Discovery
To engage girls and boys with Luciana’s message, American Girl has partnered with Scholastic, NASA, and Space Camp. This partnership has funded Blast Off to Discovery. This is an educational program to help third though fifth-grade students explore the wonder of space through Luciana-inspired content. The program includes STEM-based lesson plans and classroom activities, videos, a game, and more. The program will be available on www.scholastic.com starting January 31, 2018. In addition, American Girl and Scholastic will host a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes. Families can go on a series of weekly missions for a chance to win several prizes, including a grand prize trip to Space Camp valued at over $2,000.
Other Luciana-related initiatives being held throughout the year
- Luciana Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores nationwide are hosting Luciana’s Debut Event. Here girls can celebrate the company’s first STEM-themed character with fun, interactive science demonstrations, a Moon Phase craft, galaxy-inspired treats, and a free Luciana doll tee to take home. For more details, visit americangirl.com/retail.
- Luciana Online Play: Girls can visit play.americangirl.com/play/girl-of-the-year/luciana/ to read excerpts from the Luciana books and enjoy fun space-inspired activities.
- American Girl World™ App: Fans can step into the worlds of Luciana and their other favorite American Girl characters and experience their stories in a whole new way. The app is available to download later in January through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle.
- Luciana-Themed Space Camp: Girls and their families can train just like astronauts. They can take a tumble spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer and designing a robot—at a special Girl of the Year experience created in partnership with Space Camp starting in summer 2018. American Girl is also sponsoring 20 scholarships to attend Space Camp. To learn more, visit americangirl.com/meetluciana.
Check out our video playing with and getting to know Luciana Vega!