Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen met and became friends in the master’s engineering program at Stanford. As two of the few women in the program, they compared stories on why they had pursued engineering. They were both inspired by their childhood toys.
In the US, less than 15% of women enter college intending to major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field. Alice and Bettina believe the gender gap starts young. Many girls’ toys lag behind in the development of spatial skills, hands-on problem solving skills, and confidence with technology. These are exactly the skills that Roominate aims to develop.
Roominate’s unique blend of building, circuits, design, crafts, storytelling, and creativity teaches kids while they play. Using motor and light circuits, modular furniture building pieces and walls, Roominate empowers kids to build endless amazing creations!
- Hands-On Problem Solving
- Spatial + Fine Motor Skills
- Basic Circuitry
Alice and Bettina designed Roominate to inspire the next generation of innovators.
Meet the Team
Stanford M.S. Mechanical Engineering
MIT B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Alice grew up playing in her dad’s robotics lab and made her first toy when she was only eight years old. When she asked her dad for a Barbie, he gave her a saw instead. So she made her own doll out of wood and nails!
Alice graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She received her Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in June 2012. She has also interned at Nest Labs.
Stanford M.S. Electrical Engineering
Caltech B.S. Electrical Engineering
As a young girl, Bettina loved Lego and built cities filled with spaceships with her older brother. These days, she is an avid ultimate frisbee player and plays on BW Ultimate, a competitive Bay Area mixed club team.
Bettina Chen graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 2010 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. She received her Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in March 2012. Bettina has conducted research on bionic contact lenses and worked as an electrical design engineer at Discera and KLA-Tencor.
Tulane University B.S. Marketing
Matt received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University in 2013 with a BS in Marketing and Management, and pursued international marketing internships with startups in Mexico and Brazil over his summers. After graduation he quickly became involved in the toy industry by joining Klutz, a subsidiary of Scholastic, where he gained key experience marketing kids products.
Matt is an avid cyclist, and races with a Bay Area competitive cycling team in his free time. He loves food, music, and especially traveling! Matt grew up in a perpetual home improvement project, so he feels right at home with Roominate.
MIT B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2018
Katherine is currently studying Mechanical Engineering as a Sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between classes, you can probably find her organizing everything from hackathons to her extensive roominate collection, dancing on MIT’s competitive hip-hop team, Ridonkulous, or exploring Boston to find a new, delicious place to eat. Having engineered new ways to assemble modular origami, medical devices for developing nations, and chassis for electric vehicles among other things, she can’t wait show you what she builds next.