> For example (speaking of newfangled), just a couple > days ago I started unveiling pieces of my newest > "tractor-based" curriculum segments. > > In this age of "diversity" (which in geekdom is often > code for "need more women") you'd think something so > prosaic as a tractor would scare off market share. > > When Seymour Papert & Co. unveiled Logo, it was a > "turtle-based" curriculum. Turtles seem kid friendly > (like in 'Finding Nemo'). Plus sea turtles can swim, > meaning a Logo turtle could be adapted for volumes > and (x,y,z) play.
I think "tractor" is O-K in this situation, since "tractor" almost certainly equally familiar to males and females in your target audience. For instance, I wouldn't expect the ratio of males to females born in very rural places to be all that much different from those born in other places, and I think that where someone in your target audience was born is going to be the overwhelming factor in how familiar they are with tractors. Examples of things that would merit reconsideration are "stocking" (too female centric) and "nunchucks" (too male centric).
In the case of "turtle", given your target audience you don't want to overlook Gamera, which is what first came to my mind (not Nemo), but maybe that's because I grew up watching all those Japanese monster movies on black-and-white TV in the 1960s.