Charlie's Playhouse makes the first-ever products that introduce kids to evolution, natural selection and Charles Darwin.
Why? Because there aren't any. Toy stores are brimming with educational toys on every science, but absolutely nothing on evolution. As a mom and scientist, I was amazed when I discovered this. My kids and I set about designing and marketing our own toys, and we first opened for business in late 2008.
We aim to have fun, to engage kids with evolution, and to help raise the scientific literacy of future generations.
The "Charlie's" part was easy. We knew we wanted to present Darwin as a fun, approachable character. But "Charlie's what?"
Then one day a certain 7-year-old said, "I know! Let's build a playhouse and invite all our friends over. We can call it Charlie's Playhouse!" The rest is history.
Who are we?
Kate Miller, Founder and President
I am a mother and scientist. In late 2005 I left my job to stay home with my kids, and we're still having a blast. Before making toys, I researched women's reproductive health, largely in sub-Saharan Africa. I hold a PhD in demography from U Penn, a masters in public health from Columbia University, and about eight years' professional experience at various research institutions.
I learned about evolution and natural selection at my mother's knee, and hope to pass that on to my kids.
Thompson Webb, Board of Advisors
As Professor of Geologic Sciences at Brown University, Tom taught a class on the fossil record for over thirty years, starting in 1972. He holds a PhD in atmospheric sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has published over 100 articles and co-edited two books and two special issues of journals. Tom retired from teaching in 2005.
Louise Mead, Board of Advisors
Louise is Education Project Director at the National Center for Science Education, and has taught at both the high school and university level. She now teaches professional development courses for teachers who want to expand their knowledge of evolution. Louise holds a PhD in organismic and evolutionary biology and masters in education from UMass Amherst.
Shane Keats, Board of Advisors
Shane is our go-to guy on business and media. His experience includes marketing at successful tech startups, producing at NBC Nightly News, and many political campaigns including the 1992 Clinton Presidential race. He holds an MBA from MIT's Sloan School. Shane is currently launching a terrific new kids' show about the environment called Heartwood USA.
Steven Schwartz, Board of Advisors
Steven has over thirteen years' experience helping businesses to elevate their web presence, improve lead generation and garner meaningful results from their websites. His experience holding key positions at web-based software companies led him to found the consulting firm PowerWebResults in 2001.
One Board member prefers not to be publicly listed.