Anyone who has a young daughter (and plenty of people who don’t) will doubtless be aware of the lamentable state of periodicals targeting pre-teen girls.
Without naming names, a quick review reveals that many of the most popular titles for girls are aimed at recreating much of the editorial content and tone of women’s magazines – minus the naughty stuff. So lots of advice about fashion, beauty and the like.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with content falling in these categories, which have shown themselves to be of perennial interest. But as critics point out, it’s a problem when such content dominates to the exclusion of all others. You know, important stuff like science, math, and academics in general.
Fortunately a new generation of publishers is setting out to remedy this absence with science magazines crafted just for girls.
The latest entry in this brand new publishing category is Smore, targeting girls ages 7-12 with a range of fun, age-appropriate comic-style content about science, math and engineering. For example, the first issue, set to debut in August, includes special sections on humanoid robots, space travel, and the messy story of penicillin.
Each issue will feature a teenage girl scientist or inventor on the cover, which seems like a savvy move.
While there is no shortage of famous female scientists in history, from Merit-Ptah and Hypatia to Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, when it comes to role models, contemporary figures are probably a tad more relatable. (On that note, the magazine also highlights pioneering work by adult female scientists today, although plenty of male scientists and inventors appear, too.)
Smore will publish both print and digital issues on a bimonthly schedule with six issues per year. Each issue is 40 pages long and totally ad-free. It also includes a pull-out poster explaining a special topic with eye-catching graphics. A print subscription costs $50 per year for six issues, and digital subs are available for $30 per year.
As noted, Smore isn’t the first new science magazine for girls. Another title launched in April 2016, Kazoo, is a quarterly print title for girls ages 5-10 which includes science experiments, comics, art projects, interviews with inspiring women, and activities like decoding messages, mazes and jokes. A one-year subscription costs $50.