Play-Well

Teaching Engineering to Kids


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Building a Google Sign Made Out of LEGO Minifigures & a GoPlae Shoe at Google HQ

On Saturday, August 22nd, 2015, we participated in Walk-for-Wishes, a benefit for Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Foundation. Red Tricycle San Francisco GoPLAE hosted the event and we helped families build a massive LEGO Minifigure Google Sign and a replica of a GoPlae Shoe for the event.

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We are going to need a lot of LEGO Minifigures today to build this LEGO Minifigure Google Sign.

 

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And the building of the Google Sign has begun.

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That G is coming along nicely.

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Over 500 people attended the Walk For Wishes event and there was so many great things to do after the walk.

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At the same time that we are building the Google Sign, we are also making a LEGO GoPlae Shoe.

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A few hours later, we have made tons of progress.

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Almost done with the GoPlae Shoe.

 

 

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The GoPlae Shoe is complete. On to the Google Sign.

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The San Francisco Giants Mascot stopped by our Google Sign build.

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We are getting close to being done. Just need to add a few moreLEGO Minifigures.

 

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WE DID IT!

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Made up of over 300 LEGO Minifigures.

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Here is the Play-Well team that helped make it happen. Wrenn, Hawaii Manager Marco, Our Play-Well LEGO Designer Alon, Santa Cruz Instructor Erik Olson, East Bay District Manager Thanks everyone that came out for this great event!


If you’d like us to provide a LEGO live build in your area, visit our Play-Well Special Events page for details or request more information here.



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Welcome Back To School!

With our families around the country going back to the school this week, we just wanted to wish all of you a great start to the school year.  We hope this is your child’s most memorable and fulfilling year yet.

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Rebuilding Nepal with LEGO

On April 25th, 2015 and May 12th, 2015, devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, killing more than 9,000 people and injuring more than 23,000. Hundreds of thousands were made homeless, with entire villages flattened.  In Solukhumbu, Nepal, 80% of schools, homes, and clinics were destroyed.  A Denver-based non-profit, Edge of Seven,  is helping with the reconstruction by raising funds to rebuild schools in Solukhumbu and other Nepalese towns.

We at Play-Well TEKnologies, came up with a crazy idea.  We can help rebuild Nepal with LEGO.  Crazy, huh?  Here’s how.

On Saturday, September, 26th from 10 AM – 2 PM, kids of all ages can come to City Park Pavilion and build replica Nepalese peace pagodas, homes, and schools out of LEGO. Each child may build structures to add to the collective “city” that we’ll be building at City Park Pavilion in Downtown Denver.  Children can learn more about what happened in Nepal and know that they’re contributing to the betterment of kids in need, because all proceeds of the event will go to rebuilding schools damaged by the earthquakes.

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Also, we will be attempting to set a world record for the most LEGO Nepal Pagodas ever built.  So, in addition to knowing that their massive city-scape may be in the record books and that it will be photographed and brought to schools in Nepal, kids and adults will be able to walk away with a sticker telling everyone that “I helped build a school in Nepal.” Admission is a donation of $5 per child although additional donations to help rebuild Nepal are encouraged.

For more information and to register, visit the Rebuilding Nepal with LEGO Eventbrite Link HERE.

If you are unable to attend the event, but still would like to contribute, you can donate and also build a Nepal LEGO Pagoda and post it on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

If you’d like to be a sponsor for the event, contact Jeff Harry at jeff@play-well.org.

We hope you can join us at City Park Pavilion on Saturday, September 26th.  Please help us spread the word about this worthy cause.  Thanks!


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LEGO Engineers Invade New York Financial District’s South Street Seaport

FiDi Families and Play-Well TEKnologiesc collaborated together to create a Play-Well Engineering with LEGO workshop at the South Street Seaport in the New York Financial District on Friday, August 14th, 2015 for families in the neighborhood.  Here is a video that captured the awesomeness of the event:

Check out some of the pictures that were tweeted about the FiDi Families Play-Well Event:

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Our LEGO Manhattan Bridge can withstand the pressure provide by this young structural engineer. (Picture Source: https://instagram.com/p/6YFgDVQED0/

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sofamilyonlineHad so much fun helping out at the @playwellteknologies @lego event in the @southstreetseaport. Great event @fidifamilies. (Picture Source: instagram.com/p/6YDEAOoJZB/)

 

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eunicekindredWinter had a great time at the Lego workshop presented by @fidifamilies @playwellteknologies @lego – it’s never too early to get girls interested in building and engineering! @sofamilyonline #cannonswalk @southstreetseaport #winterjosefina (Picture Source: https://instagram.com/p/6fMXA3zc4b/)

 

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sofamilyonlineCheck out this amazing bridge created by @playwellteknologies at today’s event in @southstreetseaport. Absolutely amazing. The kids loved it! @Lego building rocks! #citykids #kidsevents #fidifamilies #family #kids #familyfun #sofamily #sofamilyonline @fidifamilies #LEGOS #LegoFun (Picture Source: https://instagram.com/p/6YDTcjIJZo/)

 

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RT @FiDiFamilies: Even the little ones are loving the lego @PlayWell_TEK build event. Thx to @TheSeaport (Picture Source: instagram.com/p/6XgO8wQEJV/)

 

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RT @FiDiFamilies: Amazing turnout for @PlayWell_TEK lego event @TheSeaport in Front Street #c#CannonsWalk Come play! (Picture Source: instagram.com/p/6XfqQawEIR/)

Visit Play-Well Special Events page, if you’d like to run a workshop in your area.

 


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SF Families Built Their Neighborhood of Excelsior out of LEGO

On Sunday, August 16th, families in San Francisco Excelsior District built their neighborhood out of LEGO as part of Sunday Streets San Francisco. The Youth Art Exchange invited Play-Well TEKnologies to help build a replica of their district, including the famous Excelsior Water tower and the Muni line. Over 100 different houses were built by families as part of this day celebrating the neighborhood of Excelsior. Here are some of the pictures and videos of the day.

LEGO San Francisco Excelsior District is complete. #sundaystreets #youthartexchange #sanfrancisco #lego #playwell

A video posted by Play-Well TEKnologies (@playwellteknologies) on

If you’d like us to do a live build for your neighborhood or organization, check out our Special Events Page for details.

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Neighbors built a replica of their district out of LEGO.

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The building has begun.

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The Muni train has been added to the Excelsior District LEGO build.

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Another awesome, two-story building has been added.

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Last minute modifications before adding it to the neighborhood.

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Great choice of placement.

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Families are working hard to make their houses.

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So many extraordinary designs. This one displays the colors of Mexico.

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This house has a skylight roof area. Great sunlight.

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The Muni train is making stops at the LEGO Excelsior District.

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Such awesome matching on this building. Great use of the pyramid roof.

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The LEGO building is going only quite smoothly. We are almost there.

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Check out this crazy, cool LEGO Design.

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Kids are making train tunnels with their arms.

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Got to add special rocks to the Water Tower area.

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This child is excited to add on his creation to the neighborhood.

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That this is a LEGO House that resembles a LEGO.

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Spiderman even made a stop by the LEGO Water Tower.

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Almost done…

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There is almost no more room for housing. Definitely a SF issue.

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Finally, it is complete. Over 100 houses added to the Excelsior District. Thanks so much for having us Youth Art Exchange!




 


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#LooksLikeAnEngineer Project

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“Engineer Isis Anchalee kicked off the #ilooklikeanengineer hashtag on Twitter.” Content & Picture Source: LA Times

You may have recently come across the #LooksLikeAnEngineer story about engineer, Isis Anchalee, who took part in a recruitment campaign for her tech employer.  She was “blown away” by the attention the image got.  But among the positive comments were negative ones, focusing on her appearance and whether she ‘looked’ like an engineer.  And thus a spontaneous movement was born!  Check out the site where female engineers around the world are showing their solidarity.
Being that our organization is involved inspiring future engineers on a daily basis, we wanted to do our part for this awesome #LooksLikeAnEngineer Project.  Here are some of our staff members that have contributed to the project so far:
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Yay for working on giant robots that will someday be the RVs on the moon and Mars, bringing the astronauts habitats with them while they explore the surface. And doing it in a skirt! Now I get to inspire the next generation of rocket scientists to play and create the next amazing idea! -Kendra Kilbride, ex-Rocket Scientist.

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My name is Gabs Dupont and I’m an Play-Well instructor in Chicago. I am also currently a student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in chemistry.

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My name is Victoria Mouwen and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Science from California State University Northridge. In my current position I teach children basic engineering concepts like: pneumatics, levers, transmissions and much more.

My name is Lynda Weiss and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. In my current position I am responsible for programs that teach children basic engineering concepts using FUN Lego projects!

My name is Lynda Weiss and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. In my current position I am responsible for programs that teach children basic engineering concepts using FUN Lego projects!

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Kathy, our Atlanta Manager, added her contribution to the #LooksLikeAnEngineer Project.

We are asking our Play-Well families if they’d like to also contribute to this project.  Here is how you can contribute:
#1. Take a picture of yourself or someone that is passionate about the world of engineering.
  • It could even be a child that is interested in engineering.

#2. If you have your own twitter page, post it with and add the hashtag: #LooksLikeAnEngineer.  Tag us at #playwell, if you’d like.

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Email us your photo at jeff@play-well.org and we will compile them all together.

Our goal with this project and everything else we do for Play-Well is to let every child that participates in our engineering program know that they could one day be the next great engineer, scientist, or inventor that helps change the world.  We hope this #LooksLikeAnEngineer projects help to contribute to that goal.


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Press Advisory: LEGO & Engineering Are Not Just For Boys Anymore

Girl Class

All-Girl STEM Camp in Wilmette

WHEN: August 14th, 9 AM – 12 PM, 1 PM – 4 PM

WHERE: Community Recreation Center – Wilmette Park District

3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette, IL 60091

Last week, the hashtag “LooksLikeAnEngineer‘ went viral, as one female engineer after another posted on Twitter what an engineer really looks like, after an ad came out displaying a woman engineer who some said “didn’t look like an engineer.”  There is something rare that is happening at Wilmette Park District this week: the goal is to help combat this type of ignorance for future generations.

Two camps filled with eager engineers are being inspired with LEGO…and the students just happen to be all girls.  Wilmette Parks District and Play-Well TEKnologies havecollaborated to offer a one of a kind all-girls STEM camp using LEGO.  The goal of this camp is to introduce these students to the world of engineering with LEGO, but more importantly, break down the barriers of who can possibly be an engineer when they grow up.

A recent study by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of University Women found that female university graduates were earning less than 20% of Bachelor’s Degrees in STEM related fields. This existed even though the number of H.S. female students identified as “mathematically gifted” (scoring above 700 in the Math SAT exam) was over 33%. The goal of programs such as Play-Well’s is to help introduce these STEM fields at an early age to girls, so that these young female students can see themselves one day as engineers, computer programmers, and scientists.

Play-Well Instructor Gabriella Dupont is currently a student majoring in Bio-Medical Engineering at University of Illinois in Urbana.  In this area of study, only 20% of the students are women.

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“This is not just pink LEGO. In fact, the curriculum is virtually identical to the co-ed programs. We are simply removing the minority pressure, and fostering the way girls play in the context of building and construction.” With a few LEGO pieces, Gabriella hopes this initiative will help encourage a few future female engineers and change the dynamic about who ‘looks like an engineer.’

For more information, please contact Play-Well Chicago Manager, Maddy Gabor at 847.777.9150 or maddy@play-well.org

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