Play-Well

Teaching Engineering to Kids


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Kid President Wore Our LEGO Bow Tie To The Jefferson Awards!

We recently gave Kid President and his co-creator of their awesome videos, Brad Montague, two of our Play-Well LEGO Bow Ties.  We found out that they wore them to the Jefferson Awards.

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bit.ly/PlayWellLEGOBowTieAlumni

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18:  Robby Novak (L) and Brad Montague, co-creators of Kid President appear at the Jefferson Awards Foundation 43rd Annual National Ceremony on June 18, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for The Jefferson Awards Foundation)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 18: Robby Novak (L) and Brad Montague, co-creators of Kid President appear at the Jefferson Awards Foundation 43rd Annual National Ceremony on June 18, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for The Jefferson Awards Foundation)

Article: http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/2015/06/19/kid-president-is-just-a-normal-kid-who-makes-amazing-videos/

We found out via twitter.

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We agree, they do look snazzy.


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Play-Well Summer Kick-Offs: Grown Ups playing with LEGO

At the beginning of every summer, we have our annual Play-Well Summer Kick-Off’s.  It is when we gather all of our instructors in the area to come together to play, learn, and share lessons learned throughout the year in preparation for running awesome programs during the summer.  We do role-playing, we tell stories, we of course build with LEGO, and we ultimately just have fun.  At this year’s kick-offs, we asked our staff “how many of you were that awkward, nerdy kid growing up?”  Almost all of our instructors hands go up.  So, we then tell them that in our camps this summer, we are going to have kids that are just like you, trying to figure out where they belong.  By simply being your full, nerdy self, we give that child permission to do the same.  And even better than learning about the world of engineering, that could be the most memorable lesson they learn that summer: To just be themselves.

Check out pictures from our many kick-offs around the country leading up to summer.

Play-Well Northwest Kick-Off (Seattle, Tacoma, Portland)

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Our Play-Well Northwest Staff recreating the Hadouken Meme, Play-Well Style.

Play-Well East Coast Kick-Off (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey)

It is tradition that we end each of our Play-Well Kick-Offs with the Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition.  This is the Play-Well East Coast one.

It is tradition that we end each of our Play-Well Kick-Offs with the Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition. This is the Play-Well East Coast one.

Here is our strange Play-Well East Coast photo.  Don't mind the person in the middle.

Here is our strange Play-Well East Coast photo. Don’t mind the person in the middle.

Two of our Play-Well Staff still trying to figure out what they built.

Two of our Play-Well Staff still trying to figure out what they built.

David has created a contraption that uses more LEGO Pneumatic tubes that we have ever seen.

David has created a contraption that uses more LEGO Pneumatic tubes that we have ever seen.

 

Our staffer member Michael is building a life size Iron Man Costume and brought in the helmet to show us.

Our staffer member Michael is building a life size Iron Man Costume and brought in the helmet to show us.  And yes, he is wearing the Game of Thrones emblem of the hand, which he 3D printed.

Play-Well East Coast Show & Tell.

Play-Well East Coast Show & Tell.

Play-Well East Coast Staff sharing stories.

Play-Well East Coast Staff sharing stories.

Play-Well Texas Kick-Off

The Play-Well Texas staff in the most calm state.

The Play-Well Texas staff in their most calm state.

This is normal attire at our kick-off meetings.  Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

This is normal attire at our kick-off meetings. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

Still trying to figure what that is. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

Still trying to figure what that is. Play-Well Texas Kick-Off.

In Texas, they don't play around.  Everything they do, they do big.

In Texas, they don’t play around. Everything they do, they do big.

During our role-playing workshop, some people truly committed to their roles as kids.

During our role-playing workshop, some people truly committed to their roles as kids.

At the Play-Well Texas Kick-Off, this was a normal meeting.

At the Play-Well Texas Kick-Off, this is considered a normal meeting amongst colleagues.

Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off

Play-Well Chicago staff are quite normal.

Play-Well Chicago staff are quite normal.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, Chris finds himself without words during our role-playing workshop.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, Chris finds himself without words during our role-playing workshop.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, LEGO art was on display.

At the Play-Well Chicago Kick-Off, LEGO art was on display.

Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (Maryland, DC, Virginia)

This is how you spell LEGO with human beings.  Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

This is how you spell LEGO with human beings. Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

Bow Ties are ready for staff to wear at the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

Bow Ties are ready for staff to wear at the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off.

At the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (DC, Virginia, & Maryland), a few of us having a lot of fun with the LEGO inventions we made.

At the Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Kick-Off (DC, Virginia, & Maryland), a few of us having a lot of fun with the LEGO inventions we made.

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Play-Well Mid-Atlantic Staff (Maryland, DC, Virginia)

Play-Well Colorado/Utah Kick-Off

These are the normal faces of the Play-Well Colorado & Utah Staff.

These are the normal faces of the Play-Well Colorado & Utah Staff.

When we create stories with LEGO, every piece of furniture is fair game.

When we create stories with LEGO, every piece of furniture is fair game.

Time to hear Tim Talk.

Time to hear Tim Talk.

At the Play-Well Colorado Kick-Off, this team is combining all of the elements from the Avatar.

At the Play-Well Colorado Kick-Off, this team is combining all of the elements from the Avatar.


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Voltaic: Solar Powered Little Bits & LEGO

4 years ago, we asked Voltaic Systems to build a solar panel for our LEGO cars. They improved the design since then and shared it on their blog.

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From Voltaic:

“We combined LittleBits, Legos, and our 2 Watt, 6 Volt solar panel to create a robot that draws circles with two different colors. The LittleBit components we used were the microUSB power module, the motor, and the dimmer (to change the speed of the motor). The entire circuit requires less than 60mA so it was able to run even when the sun was partially shaded. Sliding the wheel closer or further away from the body of the robot changed the size of the circle that was drawn.

All we needed were some spare Lego pieces, tape, and rubber-bands and our bot was drawing circles in no time! We encourage you to send us pictures of your own Voltaic solar creations.”


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Congratulation Class of 2015!

For the Class of 2015, Happy Graduation! “Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman

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Playing Well with Clorox

On Wednesday, May 13th, staff from Clorox visited Play-Well Pleasanton for a unique team building event.  There goal was to build a Rube Goldberg project using 10 different types of LEGO projects.  Here is what they came up with in less than 3 hours.

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Started simply with one small project.

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They are hard at work.

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The start of their challenge is that they needed to trigger this device.

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From the initial device, they needed to connect through 10 additional projects. No small feat.

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This car needs to be incorporated. They are trying to figure out how.

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Towers need to be built.

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Trying to figure out the best way to create an automated tank.

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Creating a pendulum swing with pneumatic tubes. Genius.

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Projects are not only functional, but stylish.

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Determining the connections is one of the toughest parts.

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This is how they decided to trigger the first mechanism.

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Of course, Clorox needed to be made out of LEGO.

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Three connections within the span of two feet.

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Almost ready.

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This monorail is triggered with a touch barrier.

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The team accomplished the mission in less than 3 hours. This is their celebratory pose.


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Team Building with Mark West

We were lucky enough to host a Play Well TEKnologies team building event for Mark West Energy today.

Mark West managers and engineers from around the country came together to connect, plan for the future, and play with a little LEGO. Collaborating through play is where innovation can happen, and we definitely saw it today.

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Mark West Ticker in LEGO.

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The collaboration has begun. The focus and energy is definitely there. They are definitely playing well

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The towers are coming together.

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Now to test their durability.

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The next project took a bit of planning and visioning. Collaborating is key and notes needed to be taken.

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These engineers are analyzing different aspects of the project.

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Final touches need to be made on this project.

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They have completed one of their sections and now are bringing it over to connect with the others.

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Success. The projects have been combined.

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And the president has overseen the entire operation.

Thanks for having us MarkWest Energy.

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