Red and Blue's 20th anniversary: Five ways Pokémon influenced the U.S.

Twenty years ago, Nintendo asked America to try to catch 'em all. We still haven't (legitimately) captured a Mew.

Photo by Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia Commons
  • On Sept. 28, 1998, Pokémon Red and Blue came to the United States and asked children to catch 151 adorably abstract creatures.
  • Today, Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, defeating the likes of Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, and Anpanman (trust us, it's a thing).
  • In anticipation of another 20 years, we look back at fives ways Pokémon has influenced the United States.
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This Toy Develops STEM Skills and Hands-On Thinking—Especially in Young Girls

Designed by two MIT professors, this build-it-yourself kit teaches kids to "think with their hands" in an effort to bolster STEM skills early on.

Gender disparity in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) continues to be a serious problem. The reasons are complex—from lack of children's stories that feature women scientists, lack of female role models and STEM toys for girls, to persisting biases and stereotypes in schools and universities, and lack of mentorship and flexibility at the workplace. According to the 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators report of the National Science Foundation, women account for only 25 percent of the employment base in the computer and mathematical sciences field and 15 percent of the engineering workforce.

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