Skip Navigation
STEM exhibit entrance wall


Bridging the Gender Divide wins 2021 AASLH Award of Excellence

T/m exhibit recognized for achievement in interpretation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has announced that The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (T/m) is the recipient of an Award of Excellence for its exhibit Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys That Build STEM Skills.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in their 76th year, are the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Bridging the Gender Divide explores how STEM toys, once marketed primarily to boys, have evolved to encourage all children through play to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The exhibit also features engaging interactive elements, including an HO-scale working model train, arcade consoles, and a matching-game coloring book that highlights accomplishments by women in STEM over the past 200 years.

STEM: Bridging the gender divide logo

“We’re honored to receive this award from AASLH,” said T/m Curator of Collections Amy McKune. “It is so important to understand our history. We hope this exhibit makes people more aware of how our toys can – and do – impact our adult lives and serves to encourage girls and people from traditionally underserved communities to pursue careers in STEM.”

Bridging the Gender Divide includes objects from T/m’s collection, as well as objects on loan from The Strong (Rochester, New York), Science History Institute (Philadelphia), Kansas Historical Society (Topeka, Kansas), and Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology (Kansas City, Missouri). Amy Bix, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director of the Consortium for Historical Studies of Technology and Science at Iowa State University, served as an advisor on the exhibit. Exhibit graphics were created by the Kansas City office of Beveridge Seay.

Generous support for Bridging the Gender Divide was provided by MRIGlobal.

This year, AASLH will confer 38 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. The 2021 awards will be presented at a special reception Sept. 24 as part of the AASLH annual meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions and programs to make contributions in this arena.

For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615.320.3203 or visit For a virtual tour of Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys That Build STEM Skills, visit the T/m YouTube page.

Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys That Build STEM Skills is on display at T/m through Sept. 5, 2021.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures educates, inspires, and delights adults and children through the museum’s collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. Located on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, the museum exhibits the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the nation’s largest collections of historic toys on public display. For more information, call 816.235.8000 or visit

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and maintains numerous affinity communities and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training in-person workshops, and online training.



Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(1) Comments

  1. How proud I am to be Amy’s father and how she has worked to make museums places for education. and enlightenment.

Back to Top