See the toy designed by a 6-year-old that was literally launched into history.

Did you know you can create a tiny rocket using vinegar and baking soda?

If you didn't learn that in elementary school science class, take it from Abigail, a 6-year-old space geek with all the makings of a soon-to-be-great scientist.


All images via Lottie Dolls/YouTube.

Abigail has a contagious fascination with all things science, but she has a particular passion for astronomy.

"Sometimes I look up and think ... could I somehow see what's up there?" she wondered in an interview with filmmaker Elena Rossini.

She was really cracking me up at this part.

Still, like most kids, she loves toys — especially ones that reflect her own curiosity and sense of adventure.


When she and her mom spotted Lottie Dolls (pictured above) in a local toy store, they were both really excited. They were perfect for a little doer like Abigail.

"The line is more focused on what the doll can do [and] take part in, rather than the way it looks," said Abigail's mom, Zoe.

They were so happy with the toys that Zoe wanted to thank the company, so she sent an email into the digital abyss. Lottie Dolls not only responded to the email, but co-founder Lucy Follett even reached out to learn more about Abigail.

As the company got to know the little astro girl, they were inspired to create a new "Stargazer" Lottie Doll, and Abigail got to design it.

Toys like Lottie Dolls do for kids what parents want: encourage them to learn and be who they are — kids.

"Stargazer comes with the planets, which every child loves to put in order. It's like a little puzzle," said Zoe. "And she's wearing clothing that a child would wear to go outside and look at the stars as well, so she's a natural companion."

Rossini was contacted by Lottie Dolls to tell the story of Stargazer after tweeting some praise for the company's amazing products.

She told Upworthy this was "the most amazing" project she's done yet. "I did have a fair share of cool jobs in the past, but this assignment stood out for its great potential to inspire young girls," said Rossini.

This story isn't just about one little girl. It's about an entire generation of girls.

A U.S. Department of Education study found that female high school graduates are less likely to "like" science and mathematics.

And women who graduate from college are even less likely to enter STEM careers than men — even those who finish with STEM degrees.


Chart by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Department of Commerce notes several reasons for this gender divide:

"There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEMjobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendlyflexibility in the STEM fields. Regardless of the causes, the findings of this report provide evidenceof a need to encourage and support women in STEM. "

Lottie Dolls' founders know how crucial it is to get more girls stoked for science. So they came up with a brilliant way to launch the product.

In a collaboration with the European Space Agency, Lottie Dolls sent Stargazer to space. Yes, outer bleep-bloopin' space.

On Dec. 6, Abigail's doll joined British astronaut Tim Peake on a ride to the International Space Station, becoming the first doll in Earth's orbit.

Now that's what I call a product launch.

Watch Elena Rossini's short film for Lottie Dolls:

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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