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.

Hooray for Shay: Meet Our New Colorado Manager

“I’m passionate about LEGO, working with kids and coming up with creative ways to teach,” says Shay Sinnott. Shay is our new manager for the Boulder & North Denver areas. Her background as a LEGO brick specialist, a private school public programs & communications specialist and rock climbing instructor make her one incredible new team member here at Play-Well. She is a recent transplant to Colorado from Massachusetts. Her foray into rock climbing inspired her to take risks and step out of her comfort zone which led to her cross-country move. Only a month after she landed in Colorado Shay found Play-Well and joined our staff of LEGO-fanatics in September. She lives by the mantra, “you can’t say can’t” which is something her mom always told her.

A climb at a gym back in Massachusetts that was perfect for Shay! Each hold was shaped like a LEGO brick!

Aside from her love of LEGOs and teaching, Shay also enjoys everything fantasy including Disney, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Marvel. Her favorite color is blue, and her friends in Massachusetts even threw her a “So Blue Without You” going away party where everyone dressed in blue to celebrate her.

Shay really enjoys making STEM accessible for all kids. “When I was little I didn’t know anything about STEM,” says Shay. During her childhood, she was told that girls are good at english and history and not good at science or math. Shay is excited to break these stereotypes. “I think telling girls they can be engineers and their brain can work like that is going to change the future.”

One of Shay’s life goals is to visit every Disney Park…so far she’s been to 3! Disney World in FL, Disneyland in CA, and Disney Shanghai in China.

Shay is a part of our new Girl Scout STEM initiative at Play-Well. Our goal is to support the Girl Scouts by hosting hands-on LEGO-inspired STEM workshops that will enable scouts to get their “Think Like An Engineer Badge.”

We are very excited to have Shay join our Colorado team. We can’t wait to see how her teaching, skills, and passion will cultivate the next generation of engineers and scientists.

On her drive across country, Shay stopped at the Badlands National Park. It was the most beautiful place she’s ever seen!