Play-Well Produces Three Potential LEGO Master Builders in New Season

Play-Well TEKnologies

We are so proud to announce that three of our PW Staff have been chosen for the new season of LEGO Masters USA!

Travis and Corey – Brothers Who Brick

Corey from New Jersey, Flynn from California, and Aaron from New Hampshire will be competing on LEGO Masters USA this February on Fox!

Flynn and Richard – Married Thespians

Play-Well is so excited that 3 out of the 20 total contestants come from our amazing team of LEGO-inspired engineers! Let’s go Corey, Flynn and Aaron with teams Married Thespians, Brothers Who Brick, and Clark Kent & Superman!

Christian and Aaron – Clark Kent and Superman

LEGO MASTERS will premiere on Fox in the USA on Wednesday, February 5 at 9.00pm ET/10.00pm PT. We hope you’ll tune in and route for our fantastic instructors! We are so inspired by their creativity and dedication and we can’t wait to see what they build! Check out the latest preview of the show below!

Take Your Kids To Work Day 2020

We hope you are having an amazing start to 2020! Many studies have shown that there are many benefits to bringing your kids to work. Luckily, there is a day specifically devoted to this called Take Your Kids To Work Day.

Last year, we were lucky enough to bring LEGO-Inspired Play to Take Your Kids To Work Days around the country for companies such as Facebook, Google, Hershey’s Chocolate Company, Salesforce, Adobe, StubHub, Workday, and many more. We would love to bring our LEGO-Inspired Play to your company’s event this year. Click here for more details.

Twitter For Good 2019

For the last four years, we’ve been working with Twitter for Good to bring LEGO-inspired engineering to at-risk youth in the San Francisco area. This year we collaborated with Compass Family Services they help homeless families and those at imminent risk to achieve housing stability, economic self-sufficiency and well-being. We had a great time teaching Compass kids about STEM through play with the CFO of Twitter, Ned Segal.

Our future engineers with Ned at the Neighbor Nest, Twitter’s community outreach space.

We’re always happy to work with non-profit groups to bring STEM education to communities everywhere. If you’d like to collaborate please reach out to us at jessi@play-well.org.

2019 Play-Well Halloween Costume Contest Winners

We had lots of amazing entries for our PW Halloween costume contest this year! A big thank you to everyone who participated, your creativity was amazing to see.

Our grand-prize winner of our LEGO Hidden Side Graveyard Mystery Kit is the Biglarbegian Family for their creative homemade costumes which they constructed themselves with some help from mom, Zahra!

We love the creativity and ingenuity behind these unique costumes.

We have several runners-up who won custom Play-Well LEGO bowties! Check out Pheonix and Gryphon, our very first ever dog entry in the costume contest! Bonnie & Beth Abelew custom made these costumes, props and backdrop creating an incredible LEGO scene.

That is some true dedication to LEGO! Fantastic job, Bonnie & Beth!

We also love this handmade palm tree costume from Aubrey. She made the headband all by herself! Beautiful work, Aubrey!

We have never even seen a palm tree costume before! So unique!

We also selected this awesome Minecraft/LEGO fanatic because he clearly needs a LEGO bowtie!

Thanks again for all of the incredible costumes! We hope you had a wonderful Halloween!

5th Annual Play-Well Halloween Costume Contest

It’s our fifth year of Play-Well Halloween! Send us a photo of your awesome costume especially if it was custom built by you and your child and be entered to win our grand prize of a LEGO Hidden Side Graveyard Mystery Building Kit! One lucky winner will be awarded our grand prize and three runner ups will get a LEGO bowtie!

Post your Halloween costume on our Twitter PageFacebook Page, tag us on Instagram or email a photo to jessi@play-well.org. Good luck! Have a spooktacular Halloween!

Check out some of the fantastic costumes from our past Play-Well Halloween costume contests.

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.

What Happens When Compassion Meets Competition?

Guest Blog Post from Sara Schairer of CompassionIt.

Originally posted here: https://compassionit.com/2018/06/06/what-happens-when-compassion-meets-competition/

I teamed up with Gary Ware of Breakthrough Play and Jeff Harry of Play-Well TEKnologies for Global School Playday on February 7, 2018. We led a compassion- and play-focused experiment for High Tech High School 10th graders, because we were curious about the question,

What happens when compassion meets competition?

We each led students through 45-minute workshops. I focused on cultivating compassion, and during Gary’s workshop, students used improv and play to practice empathy, listening, and team-building.

Jeff led the final workshop. He loaded 10 tables with Legos, and he labeled each table as a different country. Some of the tables represented low-income nations, and some represented high-income nations.

The students formed teams and picked their tables. Jeff gave them written instructions, and he told them to “produce as much food as you can.” The students built conveyor belts out of Legos and then created “food” out of Lego bricks. When the food reached the end of the conveyor belts, students would collect it and stack it on their nations in the middle of the room.

What the students didn’t know is that the low-income countries weren’t given enough resources to complete the task. Some of them were missing parts to their conveyor belts, and others didn’t have enough bricks to create food.

The wealthier nations, however, had more than enough Legos.

The high-income nations like the United States and Canada began producing large amounts of food right off the bat. At the same time, the developing nations clearly struggled. For example, the Dominican Republic students were left to fend for themselves despite asking for help from other nations. The students eventually gave up and sat back feeling frustrated and dejected.

When time was up, we took time to debrief with the students. Jeff asked, “What was the assignment I gave you?”

The students replied, “To produce as much food as we could for our nation.”

Jeff shook his head and said, “No. I asked you to produce as much food as you could. I didn’t say it was for your country. Do you think you produced as much as you could since several countries didn’t produce any food?”

The students looked sheepish as they realized they had incorrectly assumed this was a competition. I asked the United States team if they shared Legos with any other nations.

“No,” one student replied.

His group had received several requests for help, so I inquired, “Why not?”

“Because we’re ‘merica,” he said.

Each student wore a wristband with the words “Compassion It” on it.  Despite the visual reminder and two workshops that primed them in compassion, most students ignored requests for help.

I’m happy to report that we did find some outliers. A few students went out of their way to deliver Legos to those who needed them.

What’s my takeaway from this? When we’re involved in a perceived competition, we seem to ignore the needs of others.  Compassion takes a back seat when we want to win.

Our society makes competition a part of everyday life, from athletics to our careers. We prioritize a winning mindset over a compassionate mindset, and that’s what we pass down to our children.

So what can we do about it? We can start by including sportsmanship and compassion when we compete.

We should also teach our youth that life is not a zero-sum game. When we help each other, everyone wins.

Want to cultivate compassion within and also support Compassion It’s efforts to make our world more compassionate? Be a Compassion It Advocate! Learn more.

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