Jessica Wall: Girl Power in San Diego

As soon as Jessica Wall saw the job listing for Play-Well San Diego Manager she thought, “I’m built for this! I know science and education! I got this!” It was the perfect opportunity at exactly the right time which created a girl powerhouse in San Diego.

Initially, Jessica was doing pharmaceutical research with her degree in biochemistry but she actually really disliked the environment of being a female in the sciences. She found that her gender greatly impacted other’s perception of her in the workplace. It motivated her to strive to make a difference by becoming a relatable woman in the sciences that girls can see as a role model. Jessica went back to school and got her master in education. She worked as a kindergarten teacher, and although she loved working with kids, the kindergarten classroom wasn’t the right fit either. Then the opening for Play-Well’s San Diego Manager came up, and Jessica knew it would be the ideal blend of education & STEM.

Now she is using her science and math mind to inspire the next generation of females in STEM. Entirely by coincidence, Jessica met the San Diego Girl Scout STEM Coordinator at the gym. They became fast friends, instantly connected by both their love of science and their dog mom pride. Their friendship has led to a collaboration between Play-Well and the Girl Scouts that is helping many young girls earn their STEM badges and spark their passion for the sciences.

San Diego Scouts earning their Robotics Badge with Play-Well.

After one of the first Play-Well Girl Scout Badge workshops in San Diego, a scout mom emailed Jessica. Originally, her daughter really didn’t want to attend the workshop, she didn’t like science or LEGO. Despite her misgivings, her daughter attended the class and had “the best time ever”. Her daughter was already excited for the next workshop and she wanted to know when they could sign up. Receiving that kind of feedback means the world to Jessica and shows her that she’s on the right path to changing the STEM field one empowered female at a time.

Jessica and her dogs, Max & Rolley.

Aside from being a passionate educator, Jessica is also a doggo fanatic. She’s been a foster mom with California Labradors, Retrievers and More, San Diego’s largest mix breed dog rescue, for the last 3 years where she’s fostered over 40 dogs. She also loves CrossFit but her friends always joke that “she only goes to the gym so she can lift more dogs.” Jessica is the proud fur parent of Max and Rolley. When she’s not at the gym, hanging at home with her dogs or teaching kids about STEM, Jessica is traveling the globe. Her latest adventure was hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. She really enjoyed being in the middle of the Andes with no one around except wild llamas.

Play-Well is incredibly proud to have Jessica join the team! She is certainly an inspiration to all of us and we can’t wait to see what cool things she does next.

Girl Scout STEM Workshops with Play-Well

A Junior earns her Robotics badge at our Play-Well workshop in San Diego.

Play-Well offers exciting LEGO-inspired engineering workshops to help scouts earn their STEM badges while working collaboratively with their troop. Through play & hands-on-learning scouts will think critically, try new things, experiment and grow. They’ll record their findings on their STEM worksheet to keep a record of their engineering experiments. We offer robotics, think like an engineer and so much more. If you’re looking for a fun hands-on way to have your troop earn their next science badge we can help!

We offer special projects with a range of difficulty levels depending on age, from Brownie to Cadette.

We are an approved vendor/community partner with several Girl Scout councils across the nation including:

  • Girl Scouts of San Diego
  • Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
  • Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada
  • Girl Scouts of Orange County

We are always looking for new opportunities to work with Girl Scout Councils. If your council would like a STEM community partner please feel free to email us at jessi@play-well.org. To find out more about our Think Like An Engineer badge workshop download our Girl Scout program PDF. If you have questions about setting up a STEM badge workshop for your troop please email directly – jessi@play-well.org.

Scout STEM Programs with Play-Well

Over the years we’ve partnered with many girl scout and boy scout groups across the nation. We really enjoy teaming up with the scouts on special events to help them to learn about science, technology, engineering and math. We are always interested in working with new scout troops to teach complex STEM concepts through playing with LEGO. Check out some of our previous collaborations below and fill out a special request form.

In February, Play-Well joined the Livermore Cub Scout Pack 950 at their Blue & Gold Banquet. We created a fun LEGO-inspired workshop for their 35 scouts. The organizer Allie said, “The event went great and I think the kids really enjoyed the workshop.  It is one of the best Blue and Gold we have put on in awhile.  Thanks so much for your help!”

Girl Scout Troop 753 from NE Kansas & NW Missouri earned their engineering badge in January through a Play-Well TEKnologies workshop. The scouts built a bridge together and then each girl created a car to drive over the bridge.

Troop 753 earned their engineering badge with Play-Well!

Troop 753 earned their engineering badge with Play-Well!

Play-Well hosted a workshop in El Cerrito in December that focused on helping boy scouts earn some engineering badges. We had Robotics in addition to the usual motorized LEGO projects.

Last September, we collaborated with the Ventura girl scouts in a build-a-car event. The event taught four different daisy troops about motorized cars and physics.

A Venture girl scout races her robotic car.

A Venture girl scout races her robotic car.

We want to help your pack or troop earn their Engineer Pin or Activity Badge!  By bringing over 20,000 pieces of LEGO we can construct a bridge, build a catapult, and show how electricity. These  hands on activities demonstrate how engineering is a part of everyday life, and is an ever-growing field.

To find out more fill out one of our special request forms and we’ll be in touch shortly.

 

GO (Girls Only) Engineering Day at Northglen High School

 On February 12th, Play-Well partnered with Northglen High School for their GO (Girls Only) Engineering Day. The goal of the day is to introduce high school girls to engineering positions and real world applications.  Throughout the day all female students partake in career panels, workshops and hear from guest speakers.  Play-Well ran a Engineering Challenge Bridge Challenge with a group of girls to teach about different types of bridges and how their structures differ. Girls worked in teams to build either corbeled arch bridges or truss bridges to span a 2.5ft distance between desks and be weight bearing.  The girls learned about compression and tension of trusses and how they are efficient in real bridges.  With collaboration and creativity all groups designed different bridges!

Thanks for having us Northglen! #GirlPower

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Girl Scout Troop Earns Engineering Badge with LEGO & Play-Well

Troop 753 earned their engineering badge last Tuesday! This troop is part of the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri.

Check out that friendship bridge!

Check out that friendship bridge!

We had a great time and built a friendship bridge. Each girl scout was responsible for building a portion of the supports: All together our bridge ended up being 14 creations long! When the bridge was finished, the girls got to build cars and drive them across. They learned key concepts in structural and mechanical engineering and the benefits of creating collaboratively as well as individually – all while having tons of fun!

We love empowering girls with hands-on-learning! If your troop wants to earn their engineering badge through LEGO please contact us! We can help create the perfect program.