Today, American Girl announced Luciana Vega, a 11 year old aspiring astronaut who dreams of going to Mars, as the 2018 Girl of the Year!
"Luciana is our first character that's really immersed in STEM," said Rebecca Dekuiper, a American Girl designer. "We've had STEM products before, but we really wanted to do a whole character to show girls that STEM is cool."
American Girl worked with a lot of people from NASA to make sure Luciana's story and collection was accurate- from a astronaut to a scientist to the CEO of the Space and Rocket center! A NASA astronaut, Megan Behnken, said this about Luciana: "I was able to follow Luci through all of her story and adventures, and provide feedback from an astronaut's perspective on the authenticity of her story and the activities that she participated in. I've been in space and fixed the Hubble space telescope, so I have some perspective on how we use robotics, how we train for robotics."
The president of American Girl, Katy Dickson, said this about Luciana: " [Luciana is] a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader. Luciana is a role model for today’s girls -- empowering them to defy stereotypes, embrace risks and failures, and chart their own course in life -- whatever the goal."
Luciana's three-book series is written by Erin Teagan and follows Luciana as she wins a scholarship to Space Camp.
The 18 inch doll with black hair and brown eyes, as well as STEM-inspired outfits and accessories, will release on January 1.