Why is it important to introduce engineering to children at a young age?

Natural Engineers
We love to introduce kids to engineering using LEGO.  We feel honored to teach over 90,000 kids a year about engineering.  So this year, as part of our Spring Raffle, we decided to ask the question:

Why do you believe it is important to introduce engineering to children at a young age?

By participating, you could win a Play-Well Engineering with LEGO Birthday Party, a custom-made LEGO Bow Tie, or a LEGO Motor Kit.  Simply follow the instructors below to enter.  We will pick a few winners at random and share all of the great answers to this question.  Sign up on Facebook here: http://bit.ly/WhyisEngineeringImportantToTeachToKids or here: Play-Well End of The School Year Giveaway.

We hope you can join us for our Play-Well Engineering with LEGO Camps this summer.  You can find a location near you HERE.

Principal walks across a LEGO Bridge built by his students

We love when the principals get involved. Principal Morris of Pleasant Hill Elementary walked across a LEGO Bridge built by his students.

This bridge was approximately 21 ft. long and built by a 3rd grade class at Pleasant Hill Elementary.

This bridge was approximately 21 ft. long and built by a 3rd grade class at Pleasant Hill Elementary.

If you’d like us to provide an in-school field trip for your classroom, simply click here or email info@play-well.org.

 

 

 

Playing Well At Accenture, Oracle, and K12

At Accenture, we were asked us to show some of the employees’ children what it would be like to be a engineering consultant.  We provided these future consultants an engineering dilemma, various mechanisms to figure it out, and let them break up in teams and go to work.  The results were these mini-engineering consultants came up with a brand new invention.  A vehicle that could traverse across three separate types of terrain, ground, rail, and air.

The challenge was creating a vehicle that could traverse over three terrains. Ground, track, and through the air. These young engineering consultants accomplished their task in less than 1.5 hours.

These future engineering consultants accomplished their task in less than 1.5 hours.

Oracle 2

We provide a interactive LEGO area for kids during Oracle Kid’s Day. Kids built motorized LEGO projects, as well as architectural ones.

Many engineers brought their kids to the National Building Museum for our LEGO architecture workshop. There, we built a 21ft. tall tower with students, while showing them basic building techniques we use in our architectural projects.

At K12.com‘s Bring Your Kids To Work Day this year, students built a 10ft Tall LEGO Tower. Then, we tested it.

 

 

PRESS ADVISORY: Creating a safe space for kids with LEGO

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WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 5TH, 10 AM – 12 PM

WHERE: Seven Trees Community Center – Address: 3590 Cas Dr, San Jose, CA 95111

WHY:  With the recent shooting of young father Eric Mendoza of East San Jose, who simply was moving his car for street sweeping, violent crime in East San Jose has become a major issue.  People increasingly feel that it is unsafe for kids to be out on the street.  A local resident, Peter Jung, created a community based program called the Guiding Light Project, whose goal is to provide a safe space for kids in East San Jose to get their homework done and be able to play. The Guiding Light Project is now partnering with Play-Well Outreach this Saturday to provide an Engineering with LEGO workshop for kids in East San Jose.  It is completely free for them and they get the opportunity to play with over 20,000 pieces of LEGO and just be kids.  Over 60 kids from around East San Jose are expected to attend.  The goals are simple: provide a safe space for these kids to play, learn about engineering, and have families still connect as a community.

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For more information about the event, Ripple Leung at (408) 794-1690 or at rippleleung@gmail.com.

Brunch & Build With Our Recreation Coordinators

This past February, we invited Northern California Parks & Recreation Departments, YMCA’s, and JCC coordinators that we partner with to our Play Well Pleasanton Activity Center for our first ever Brunch & Build.  This was an opportunity for recreation coordinators to have brunch with our Play-Well Staff, learn more about our Engineering with LEGO programs, and most importantly, have fun building with LEGO.  When can you say that for a meeting, you got to play with LEGO?  Here is what we were able to accomplish.

Recreation coordinators starting the process of building the parthenon.

Recreation coordinators starting the process of building the Roman Coliseum.

Coordinators got to meet each other and our staff and discuss ways to help improve our programs.

Coordinators got to meet each other and our staff and discuss ways to help improve our programs.

We will were able to provide curriculum guides to help communicate all the programs we are offering.

We provided curriculum guides with detailed information about the programs we are offering.

And then we got to building.  The theme was a trip through Europe, starting with the Eiffel Tower.

And then we got to building. The theme was a trip through Europe, starting with the Eiffel Tower.

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We started building the Edinburgh Castle.

We started building the Edinburgh Castle.

The Eiffel tower took less than 30 minutes to build.

The Eiffel tower took less than 30 minutes to build.

The final version of The Edinburgh Castle was quite impressive.

The final version of The Edinburgh Castle was quite impressive.

Here were the final results.  The Eiffel Tower, the Roman Coliseum, the Edinburgh Castle, and of course a train that runs through it all.  Thanks everyone for coming and building!

Here were the final results. The Eiffel Tower, the Roman Coliseum, the Edinburgh Castle, and of course a train that runs through it all. Thanks everyone for coming and building!

We want to thank all of the recreation coordinators who participated in this fun event. If you’d like us to offer a Brunch and Build for your recreation facility, or would like us to host a program near you, simply click here.

Play-Well Featured on Paris News Station

With the release of the LEGO Movie in France, a local Paris News Station visited one of our Engineering with LEGO Classes. Our awesome Paris Manager, EJ Keller, talked about what our students can accomplish with a huge amount of LEGO and what can be accomplished when you work as a team. For more information on our programs in France, visit: http://www.play-well.org/france/.

For more information about our program in the Unitied States, visit www.play-well.org.

 

Want To Help This Child Fulfill His LEGO Dream?

We came across this amazing, passionate LEGO Builder, Bjarney Ludviksdottir. Bjarney is a child from Iceland. He has a dream of building a 6 meter LEGO scale model of his favorite ship, the Titanic.  Like a true engineer, he has done all of the measurements and come up with the schematics to build the ship, using a LEGO mini-figure to determine the scale.  He created a video to ask LEGO if he could build his model at their LEGO Factory in Denmark.

We can help Bjarney achieve his dream by simply watching this video, sharing it with our friends and family, and tagging #LEGO in it.  Please help us spread the word.  Thanks!

Our Solar Panel LEGO Project A Year Later

A year ago, we asked Voltaic Systems to help us build a solar panel that we could use for our engineering with LEGO projects.  We sent them this prototype:

And this is what they had to say.

“You know it is going to be a good day at work when you get a solar-powered Lego Car in the mail. The folks at Play-Well sent it to us after choosing to use our panels for this project (if you have children, check out Play-Well’s class locations for the best in LEGO-based engineering instruction). Here’s the video of the car cruising through our offices.”

A year later, we now have a few solar panel projects including this solar panel tank.  Thanks Voltaic Systems!  Solar Panel Tank

We will be offering a few green engineering camps this summer which include our solar panel projects.  For more information about our summer program, click here: http://bit.ly/2014PlayWellCamps