Launched on National STEM/STEAM Day, the “No Limits” initiative was created by Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) in partnership with Mattel and the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) in an effort to challenge gender stereotypes and encourage interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Now through February, girls across the U.S. will take part in events hosted by more than 100 organizations, including Atlanta Public Schools, Digital Girl Inc., Beyond the Bell, and others, to engineer toy racetracks, design cars, engage with female role models, and attend STEM workshops.
MBUSA and Mattel will gift 50,000 Matchbox die-cast toy replicas of a very special Mercedes-Benz 220SE to participating kids.
On Nov. 4, 1962, Ewy Rosqvist rocketed across the finish line three hours ahead of the competition to win the Argentine Grand Prix. In the unforgiving road race known for destroying cars thanks to treacherous terrain along its course, Rosqvist and co-pilot Ursula Wirth drove a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE to victory, making history on multiple counts. Setting a speed record of 126 km/h (78 mph), Rosqvist proved that women couldn’t just drive the Grand Prix — they could win it. “They said I could never finish,” she says, “so I finished first.”
“Whatever they aspire to be — an astronaut, engineer, judge, nurse, even the president, we want all children to dream big, dream bold, and never give up on that dream,” says Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing services for MBUSA. “We’ve seen that stories like Ewy’s — championing women trailblazers and achievers — can have a big impact by calling into question the gender stereotypes that children may inadvertently adopt.”
“Our goal is to inspire children to imagine all that they can become and break down gender stereotypes in the toy aisle with purpose-driven programs like this,” says Amanda Moldavon, senior director of vehicles brand creative at Mattel. “Most people don’t know that the creator of Matchbox made the first vehicle for his daughter who was only allowed to bring toys to school that fit inside a matchbox. So, from its origin, it has been an inclusive way for kids to explore the world around them.”
A list of organizations participating in the No Limits project can be found here.
The special-edition Mercedes-Benz 220SE will be sold in stores nationwide beginning next month, with proceeds being used to produce and distribute additional cars and teaching materials.