Team Building Through Play

Back in 2009, a corporation asked us if we could provide them a fun team building event using LEGO® materials.  Well, our organization had been playing with LEGO® bricks since 1997, so we thought, why not give it a try.  Approximately 8 years later, we have now run team building events for Fortune 500 companies, around the country, such as Google, Microsoft, VISA, Pixar, and Clorox.  Check out some of what we have done below:

Check out some of the events we have run below:

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We ran a team building event recently for Google’s Global Food Program Team. Here is what they accomplished: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/google-team-is-connecting-over-lego/

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We participated in one of Medtronic’s retreats and had them building with LEGO at a winery. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/medtronic-plays/

Clorox visited Play-Well Pleasanton and created a Rube Goldberg LEGO project that used it’s own products.

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We ran a team building event for 100 B.O.S.S. Staffers.  Here is an article describing that day: http://bit.ly/BOSSPlay-WellTeamBuildingDay

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MarkWest Energy in Colorado held their annual retreat for their engineering staff and we provided them some creative, collaborative challenges with LEGO. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/team-building-with-mark-west/

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An NCAA college basketball coach had us create a LEGO basketball challenge for their team before the start of the season: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/college-basketball-team-plays-well-with-lego/

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Amazon asked us to create a LEGO building contest for their team of engineers. Here is what they produced: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/amazon-slo-lego-building-competition-with-engineers/

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We brought millennial students and working professionals together to learn about each other, how they work, and what is important to them all through LEGO. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/millennials-professionals-collaborate-with-lego/

Click HERE for more information about our Play-Well Team Building Events or you can complete our Team Building Interest Form HERE.

Google & Play-Well Connecting Over LEGO

We recently ran a Play-Well Team Building Event for Google’s Global Food Program Team.  The goals were to inspire creativity, collaboration, all while solving problems in a fun way.  And of course, we used LEGO to do this.  Check out some of the LEGO challenges they got to do.

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The team dove fully into the project, sometimes even standing on tables in order to accomplish their goal.

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We hope that will stay up there.

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Staff took a lot of joy in trying to knock each other’s LEGO Towers down.

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This LEGO tower was left standing though.

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Now on to the more complex LEGO build.

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One of the challenges is to figure out how to get many different contraptions to work all at a uniform rate.

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Attendees used everything at their disposal to help solve a complex LEGO build.

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Even choosing to build on the floor if necessary.

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One of the managers overseeing his staff’s work. He was quite impressed.

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Now they have figured out what they need to do and are building fast.

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We even had time for LEGO car races.

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And the competition was fierce.

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Some staff even left the build to watch the LEGO races.

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Back in the room, the large build is moving quickly.

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Once that task was done, it was time for the creative LEGO builds.

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Many different ideas were coming into play.

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This build included a pirate theme and a flag.

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This group incorporated flowers, twigs, and a wine cork into their LEGO contraption.

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This team was quite proud of their LEGO creation.

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Overall, people were having a great time.

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In the end, we had a debrief about the build and the day.

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Many people had built some impressive LEGO creations in such a short span of time.

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We reviewed some of the lessons we learned that day about the team. Overall, a really great group that worked extremely well together.

If you’d like us to provide a team building event for your organization, simply complete our team building interest form HERE.  For more information about our Play-Well Team Building events, click HERE.

Play-Well Adventure at Adobe

We were lucky enough to participate again in Adobe’s Field Trip for their families at their Utah, Seattle, and San Jose office.  There were dinosaurs, Hula dancers, gliders, clowns, and of course, we brought the LEGO.  Hopefully, we were able to inspire some future engineers in the process.

Adobe – Lehi, UT

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Our booth is ready for people. We usually refer to the name though as LEGO.

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Even a dinosaur had to stop by our booth at one point to check out what was happening.

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Our jousting battles were in full swing. Some kids had returned from last year just to participate.

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We made the Adobe logo out of LEGO. 3 ft. by 3 ft. We used it as the starting point for our Adobe campus.

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One of our first additions to the Adobe Campus.

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The campus is coming along. People keep adding their office to the mix.

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Of course we were also racing cars.

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The campus is nearly complete.

Adobe – Seattle

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At the Seattle office of Adobe, we built LEGO right under the bridge.

 

Adobe – San Jose, CA

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For Adobe Field Trip in San Jose, we built the frame of an Adobe sign and kids finished the build.

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We even brought a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge in LEGO.

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We built a LEGO Minecraft world to go with the Adobe Sign.

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The Adobe sign is complete. Thanks for having us!

 

Girls Only Engineering Day at Northglenn STEM High School

On April 28th, 2015, we provided a Engineering with LEGO workshop at Northglenn STEM High School’s Girls Only Engineering Day.  Here is a description of the event:

“The goal of GO Engineering Day is to provide opportunities for our female students at Northglenn STEM High School to learn about different fields in engineering, to meet and talk with professional engineers and engineering students, to learn about local engineering schools, and to participate in activities to develop skills involved in different engineering fields.  We are hoping that this event will be run completely by women, for women.”  

The project was a “System Engineering Build Challenge with LEGO”.  The girls had the challenge to complete 3 separate conveyor belts (1 horizontal, 1 inclined, and 1 vertical) and then try to move a brick across all three together.  Once done with the brick challenge they had to try it with a marble and 2 groups succeeded with the marble.  The girls learned about the PROCESS of engineering and what it takes to work successfully on an engineering team with their peers.

Check out some pictures from the event:

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Female Scholars of Science & Technology with Alice Finch

Femal Scholars with Alice Finch

World-Renowned LEGO Artist, Alice Finch, the creator of the 400,000 piece LEGO Hogwarts introduced students to the many technological advancements contributed by female scientists and engineers today at Play Well Northwest Activity Center. Children learned about these female scholars by experientially building LEGO models of their great inventions. This is Alice Finch’s kick-off event as part of a larger project to introduce a variety of women scholars to kids through a LEGO curation.

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Alice teaching kids about Emily Roebling, the woman who saved the Brooklyn Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Warren_Roebling).

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Students building our cable stay bridge.

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The cable-stay bridge was 6 ft in length. The bridge is complete with spinning diamond satellites.

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Celebration. The bridge is complete.

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Alice Finch displaying her Hogwarts Castle and all the details inside. There is a working slide inside.

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We are now getting ready to build our city, but we first must determine the roles of each city planner. This city has its own garbage area, as well as a forest.

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Teaching kids on how to build a DNA Strand.

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DNA Strand complete.

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How did Steve from Minecraft get in here?

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Now that is a science lab.

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This is a tallest and most complex DNA strand we’ve seen so far.

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Alice Finch answering questions about what it is like being a LEGO Artist.

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Students hard at work.


11 14 Check out some of the pictures from the event here.

Helping Boulder Public Library Renovate with LEGO

For Boulder Public Library’s Main Library renovation, we ran our Engineering with LEGO workshops and were able to create a 16 ft tall tower to welcome patrons to the new main library.  A little Colorado State pride also made its way to the top of the tower.

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Picture courtesy of Boulder Public Library

If you’d like us to participate in your upcoming event, check out our Play-Well Special Events Page and complete one of our event forms.

LEGO or Mega Bloks: Which One Is Better? April Fool’s!

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After 18 years of working with LEGO and teaching over half a million kids with LEGO, our organization has decided to make the switch to Mega Bloks.  We know that some of our families may not agree with our decision, but based on factors outside of our control, we feel our hand has been forced.

The main reasons for this change:

  • Cost
  • Dynamic Theme Sets
  • Non-Stickability

The cost of LEGO keeps going up, and the only remaining options are to use Mega Bloks or Lincoln Logs. We opted for Mega Bloks.

We had to document our first purchase of Mega Bloks.

Our first store purchase of Mega Bloks.

We also have been very pleased with the new Mega Bloks lineup of non-violent theme sets, such as Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and Call of Duty.  We recently sent out a survey to our families asking: do you find more of an educational component in kids shooting aliens as in Halo, or building Minecraft Biomes?  To our surprise, “shooting aliens” was the answer.

We have found that Mega Bloks have far superior non-stickability, a word recently added to the Webster’s dictionary.  We enjoy the fact that sometimes Mega Bloks simply just fall off each other for no reason, creating an extra challenge for the kids to figure out.  Now, when a student asks “Why did my house fall apart,” we can say, “it’s not our fault.”

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One great thing about ordering Mega Bloks. They are never out of stock.

 

We have amassed over 5 million pieces of LEGO over the years and are open to selling them at a fraction of the price.  If you’d like to purchase our LEGO, simply email us at YouCannotBuyOurLEGOOnAprilFools@play-well.org.

We will miss you, LEGO, and all that you have done for us over the years.  We look forward to our new partnership with Mega Bloks and their gender-neutral Barbie line.

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Playing Well with Future Engineers at the National Society of Black Engineers Conference

The National Society of Black Engineers invited us to their annual conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. Future engineers from all across the country flew in to learn more about the world of engineering and how they can pursue a career in the engineering field. Our job was to introduce elementary through high school students to the world of engineering using LEGO.  We really appreciate the opportunity to work with extremely smart, dedicated, focused students. Thanks NSBE for having us!  Here is a video and pictures of what we were able to create with these awesome engineers of the future.

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We have a packed room for our Engineering skills class for high school students. We taught students about reverse engineering and how to see their failures as simply stepping stones to success.

 

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This student was quite pleased that he was able to reverse engineer his project and figure out how to combine two transmissions together in a simple, efficient way.

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These middle school engineering students solved a conveyor belt challenge by fixing design flaws in real time.

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One of our students, Justin, checking our 12 ft long cable-stayed bridge for any structural issues and adding the final touches.

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Success! 12ft cable-stayed bridge built in less than 1 hour.

 

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One of our staffers, Chre, who is a National Society of Black Engineers alumni, found his almamater there and they had to take a picture of this Aerospace Engineering Graduate who is now getting other kids interested in engineering

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So many different creative designs to tackle the challenge.

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We are not LEGOLAND, but for one workshop, we did provide an extravaganza of LEGO.

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We built a 17 ft long corbelled arch bridge. It took us less than 1 hour.

If you’d like us to participate in your conference, check out our Special Events page.