Almost unbelievably, TrowelBlazers is now a whole two years old- crazy as we still feel sort of like ‘newbies’, yet at the same time we’ve done so much, and it feels like we’ve all known each other much longer.

Over the past year there has been a wonderful assortment of TB-related activities, some of which we already talked about on our 2014 review. But even just in the past few months of 2015, we’ve been rocking it (yes, that was a geological pun).

And now, the Big Event you’ve all been waiting for: an actual TrowelBlazers doll is being launched! Fossil Hunter Lottie was made in collaboration on a voluntary basis after we were approached by manufactures Arklu, who wanted advice on making sure their palaeontology action figure was realistic. So we tweaked a few things about her field clothes, made sure she had a trowel and a geological hammer, suggested the packaging design, wrote some extra content on real life trowelblazers and safe fossil hunting, and worked out some fun launch plans.

Lottie came with us to America, on a fossil hunt with children on the Jurassic Coast where Mary Anning worked, and this week went on a UK #RealFossilHunter tour to meet palaeontologists and find out about the diversity of their careers. You can check it out our BRAND NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL!!!

You can find Lottie on the Lottie Dolls official website – stocks are going fast so you may have to pre-order for the next shipment!

 

But before it was time for this great birthday present, what were were up to? By the end of April, we had already clocked up the following:

–Celebrated International Womens’ Day with a post about the 5 Trowelblazers You Should Have Heard Of

–As part of British Science Week, we put on our first live TrowelBlazers performance event, a joint spoken word, science and poetry piece telling the intriguing and often moving exploration of the intertwining lives of three women linked by the 1930s excavation at Mount Carmel, Palestine. It was dreamt up by Tori and delivered with Alison Cullingford from University of Bradford’s Special Collections, and got a fantastic response.

–We ended March with something unexpected but fabulous: a Social Media Viral Sensation (or something). It turns out many people are hungry for photos of super scienceing shoes, as we discovered when Brenna tweeted a picture of her footwear in response to claims that dinosaur trainers weren’t for girls. The world went mad, and the #InMyShoes tag ended up  covered in mainstream media. We were most pleased however by the lovely response from the girl in question, Sophia Trow (and her mum), who took very sportingly the deluge of footwear images tweeted from women scientists of all stripes around the world

–Brenna brought the genuinely fantastic stories of some of the TrowelBlazers we feature to a new audience when she spoke at Dysprosium, aka Eastercon. We feel there is significant potential for future steampunk-themed cosplay TrowelBlazing.

–A new trowelblazing level-up was attained when three of us were in the same room for our talk at the Society for American Archaeology conference in April (Podcast here!). We debuted our new TB t-shirts, and had a great time meeting a lot of people face-to-face for the first time.

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We would like to thank everyone involved who’s helped bring Fossil Hunter Lottie’s big launch to you- from the Lyme Regis Museum, the fantastic Jurassic Coast Dorset East Devon World Heritage Site, the heroic Jurassic Coast Ambassadors (thanks Kat!!!), Tollan Videos for video content, Hana Morel for the soundtrack, and the #RealFossilHunter palaeontologists everywhere. We could never have made it this far without you!

Real Fossil Hunter Lottie at Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

With much love from Tori, Becky, Suzie, and Brenna

 

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