#LooksLikeAnEngineer Project

Isis Anchalee

“Engineer Isis Anchalee kicked off the #ilooklikeanengineer hashtag on Twitter.” Content & Picture Source: LA Times

You may have recently come across the #LooksLikeAnEngineer story about engineer, Isis Anchalee, who took part in a recruitment campaign for her tech employer.  She was “blown away” by the attention the image got.  But among the positive comments were negative ones, focusing on her appearance and whether she ‘looked’ like an engineer.  And thus a spontaneous movement was born!  Check out the site where female engineers around the world are showing their solidarity.
Being that our organization is involved inspiring future engineers on a daily basis, we wanted to do our part for this awesome #LooksLikeAnEngineer Project.  Here are some of our staff members that have contributed to the project so far:

Yay for working on giant robots that will someday be the RVs on the moon and Mars, bringing the astronauts habitats with them while they explore the surface. And doing it in a skirt! Now I get to inspire the next generation of rocket scientists to play and create the next amazing idea! -Kendra Kilbride, ex-Rocket Scientist.


My name is Gabs Dupont and I’m an Play-Well instructor in Chicago. I am also currently a student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in chemistry.


My name is Victoria Mouwen and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Science from California State University Northridge. In my current position I teach children basic engineering concepts like: pneumatics, levers, transmissions and much more.

My name is Lynda Weiss and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. In my current position I am responsible for programs that teach children basic engineering concepts using FUN Lego projects!

My name is Lynda Weiss and I’m currently an Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies. I received my M.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. In my current position I am responsible for programs that teach children basic engineering concepts using FUN Lego projects!

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Kathy, our Atlanta Manager, added her contribution to the #LooksLikeAnEngineer Project.

We are asking our Play-Well families if they’d like to also contribute to this project.  Here is how you can contribute:
#1. Take a picture of yourself or someone that is passionate about the world of engineering.
  • It could even be a child that is interested in engineering.

#2. If you have your own twitter page, post it with and add the hashtag: #LooksLikeAnEngineer.  Tag us at #playwell, if you’d like.


Email us your photo at jeff@play-well.org and we will compile them all together.

Our goal with this project and everything else we do for Play-Well is to let every child that participates in our engineering program know that they could one day be the next great engineer, scientist, or inventor that helps change the world.  We hope this #LooksLikeAnEngineer projects help to contribute to that goal.

Press Advisory: LEGO & Engineering Are Not Just For Boys Anymore

Girl Class

All-Girl STEM Camp in Wilmette

WHEN: August 14th, 9 AM – 12 PM, 1 PM – 4 PM

WHERE: Community Recreation Center – Wilmette Park District

3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette, IL 60091

Last week, the hashtag “LooksLikeAnEngineer‘ went viral, as one female engineer after another posted on Twitter what an engineer really looks like, after an ad came out displaying a woman engineer who some said “didn’t look like an engineer.”  There is something rare that is happening at Wilmette Park District this week: the goal is to help combat this type of ignorance for future generations.

Two camps filled with eager engineers are being inspired with LEGO…and the students just happen to be all girls.  Wilmette Parks District and Play-Well TEKnologies havecollaborated to offer a one of a kind all-girls STEM camp using LEGO.  The goal of this camp is to introduce these students to the world of engineering with LEGO, but more importantly, break down the barriers of who can possibly be an engineer when they grow up.

A recent study by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of University Women found that female university graduates were earning less than 20% of Bachelor’s Degrees in STEM related fields. This existed even though the number of H.S. female students identified as “mathematically gifted” (scoring above 700 in the Math SAT exam) was over 33%. The goal of programs such as Play-Well’s is to help introduce these STEM fields at an early age to girls, so that these young female students can see themselves one day as engineers, computer programmers, and scientists.

Play-Well Instructor Gabriella Dupont is currently a student majoring in Bio-Medical Engineering at University of Illinois in Urbana.  In this area of study, only 20% of the students are women.


“This is not just pink LEGO. In fact, the curriculum is virtually identical to the co-ed programs. We are simply removing the minority pressure, and fostering the way girls play in the context of building and construction.” With a few LEGO pieces, Gabriella hopes this initiative will help encourage a few future female engineers and change the dynamic about who ‘looks like an engineer.’

For more information, please contact Play-Well Chicago Manager, Maddy Gabor at 847.777.9150 or maddy@play-well.org

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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Press Advisory: Female Scholars of Science & Technology with Alice Finch

Femal Scholars with Alice Finch

WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 10 AM – 5:30 PM

WHERE: Play-Well Northwest, 11743 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA 98034

Rachel Swaby asks her readers, in a recent Wire magazine article called “We Need To Stop Ignoring Women Scientists” can you identify a female scholar of science and technology who has helped to change the world?  For most people, the answer is no.

Play-Well TEKnologies and World-Renowned LEGO Builder Alice Finch, the creator of the 400,000 piece LEGO Hogwarts Castle, are hoping to change that. On Saturday, April 18th from 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Alice Finch (with a little help from Play-Well) will introduce students to the many technological advancements contributed by female scientists and engineers.  Alice and Play-Well will do this by having children learn experientially through building LEGO models of these great female scholars’ 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.

Why is this such an important issue to address? CNN recently reported that in the U.S., “just one in seven engineers are female, only 27% of all computer science jobs are held by women, and women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000.” A group of women leaders in STEM fields surveyed by CNN presented these possible solutions to address this issue:

1. Recognize that the the toys and games that young girls play with mold their educational and career interests.

2. Introduce girls early to role models of other women in STEM.

3. Engage girls in STEM and keep them interested.

This workshop addresses all three of these solutions, providing students an opportunity to learn about female science and technology role models in an engaging way using LEGO.  This initial event is a trial to see how much interest there is for this type of learning and subject matter… and if having this event sell out in a few hours in any indication, there is definitely a need for more of this type of education.

For more information about the Female Scholars of Science & Technology event, click here or visit http://bit.ly/FemaleScholarsOfScienceWorkshop.  For specific questions about the event, please contact Claire Stafford at (206) 310-0678 or at claire@play-well.org.

LEGO Female Scientist

New LEGO Female Scientist Minifigure by LEGO.