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Teaching Engineering to Kids

Jedi Green Engineering with LEGO® Camp Featured In Monterey News

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We offered one of the first JEDI Green Engineering Camps in the country in Monterey, CA.  Utilizing the world of Star Wars, we taught kids about Green Engineering & Green Technology.  Central Coast News of Monterey was there to do the story.  You can get more information about the program below.

Jedi Green Engineering Camp with LEGO® In Monterey

Star Wars

WHEN:            MONDAY, JULY 1st, 2013 – FRIDAY, JULY 5th, 2013, 9 AM – 12 PM (no camp on July 4th)

WHERE:          MONTEREY YOUTH CENTER, 777 Pearl St., Monterey, CA 93940

WHY:              Play-Well TEKnologies, in collaboration with the City of Monterey Recreation Department, is running the first ever JEDI Green Engineering with LEGO® camp in the country.  It is an experimental program that combines the world of Star Wars with environmental engineering, as a way of introducing sustainability and green technology to kids.  It asks the question, through the make-believe world of Star Wars: can kids better learn how to help save the real world through green tech?  This program incorporates STEM teaching in a way that has never been tried before.

Play-Well’s Monterey Bay instructor, Alon Keller, is a devout Star Wars fan, and has a passion for green engineering, having graduated from CSU Monterey Bay with a degree in Environmental Science.  He has helped craft Play-Well’s Green Engineering curriculum and thought combining this popular JEDI genre with his green passion could make for an amazing, experimental program.

“If you look at a Star Wars encyclopedia, at the spaceship designs, their main power sources are supplemented by solar panels on the wings.  Which is very cool… the Star Wars universe seems to lend itself already to thinking about one’s environment.  When you look at the way “A New Hope” begins in a desert planet, George Lucas built a set in Tunisia.  It’s very obvious that a lot of thought went into what kind of adaptations people would need to survive in that environment.  The people live underground and have to mine for water.  It’s a really integral part of the characters’ developments.  The Ewoks are also shaped by their environment and habitat.  Likewise with Hoth.  There is aquatic life on Naboo… it’s a very diverse plethora of habitats you are exposed to.  Because it is a very technologically advanced setting, it allows you to think about the ways these civilizations have devised to extract the maximum amount of resources… Back in the 70’s, maybe talking about the environment wasn’t quite as prominent.  Maybe the City in the Clouds was a reaction to the OPEC oil crisis.  In episodes one to three, there was a lot of mining.  It is very important to a technologically advanced civilization to have access to these resources that provide power for this vast fleet of ships.  Talking about the environment is a good way to talk about Star Wars.”

Source: Lucas Films (http://lucasfilm.com/)  Photos from Star Wars, Episode 1: A New Hope

Source: Lucas Films (http://lucasfilm.com/)
Photos from Episode 1: A New Hope

Alon hopes this experimental LEGO® program will help create a whole new way of building kids’ passion and interest in green technology.  Maybe it will even inspire some future JEDI environmental engineers along the way.

For more information, please contact Alon Keller at 818-645-9567 or alon@play-well.org.  Play-Well TEKnologies programs are not authorized, sponsored or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.

Star Wars

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