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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:

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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