Like the American Girls of years past, American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year has big ambitions.
This go-round, the 18-inch doll named Luciana Vega, is an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut “who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars!,” the company said in a statement. The brown-eyed, dark-haired doll is the latest in American Girl’s long line of characters that “encourage girls to think about who they want to be and how they want to make their mark in the world.”
In addition to the doll, American Girl has partnered up with Scholastic, NASA, and Space Camp to fund an educational program to help third, fourth, and fifth grade students explore the wonder of space through Luciana-inspired content, including STEM-based lesson plans and classroom activities, videos, games, and more.
Families will also have the opportunity to go on a series of weekly missions based on Luciana’s stories for a chance to win several prizes in American Girl and Scholastic’s Mission to Mars Sweepstakes, which includes a grand prize trip to Space Camp valued at over $2,000.
In line with that, girls will also be able to unlock exclusive content in Luciana’s realm for the first time ever, like space simulations and videos when the doll and her full product line of “STEM-inspired outfits and accessories” launch online and in stores Jan. 1. The educational program will be available later in the month via scholastic.com starting Jan. 31, 2018.
"Luciana is our first character that's really immersed in STEM ," Rebecca Dekuiper, a designer at American Girl, said, according to ABC News. "We've had STEM products before, but we really wanted to do a whole character to show girls that STEM is cool."