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.

 

 

All Girls Engineering with LEGO® Camp Featured On Q13 Fox & King 5 In Seattle!

Our All Girls Engineering with LEGO Camp was featured on two local Seattle News Stations, Q13 Fox and King 5.  Here are the two stories:

Q13 Fox Seattle

King 5 Seattle

ALL GIRLS ENGINEERING WITH LEGO® CAMP PROGRAM

LEGO Raffle Pic

WHEN: MONDAY, JUNE 24TH, 2013 – FRIDAY, JUNE 28TH, 2013, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

WHERE: Phinney Neighborhood Center

Lower (Brick) Building, Room No 36

6615 Dayton Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

WHY:  Play-Well TEKnologies is running an all girls Engineering with LEGO® program for 2nd – 5th Grade female students at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.  It is the first all girls engineering program of its kind conducted in the Phinney neighborhood that addresses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Education.

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, demystifying engineering, so that these young female students can see themselves one day as engineers, computer programmers, and scientists.

Molly Lebowitz

Play-Well Washington’s Manager, Molly Lebowitz, is one of the 20% of female engineers who achieved her degree in the male-dominated engineering field.  Molly graduated from Cornell University and used to work for an environmental engineering organization.  She contributed to the EngineerGirl initiative through the National Academy of Engineering for 5 years.  While at Play-Well, she quickly noticed the gender disparity in the building classes for youngsters.  As a result, Molly has been instrumental in expanding Play-Well initiative in Washington to give young girls dedicated opportunities to try their hand at building and experimenting with mechanics in a fun, collaborative space. “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, Molly hopes this initiative will help build a few future female engineers.

Play-Well Female Engineers

Play-Well Engineers

For more information, please contact Molly Lebowitz at 206.310.0678 or molly@play-well.org.  Play-Well TEKnologies programs are not authorized, sponsored or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.

Giving Away LEGO on April 1st!

While doing inventory, we realized that our instructor kits have too much LEGO. So, we need to get rid of thousands of LEGO pieces. If you’d like some, just comment below. One last important piece of information: APRIL FOOLS!

LEGO Kit

Our Play-Well JEDI Engineering w/LEGO Program

We recently had so much fun running our new JEDI Engineering w/LEGO program.  Our instructors that are Star Wars nerds are really into teaching these programs, getting kids excited about the world of Star Wars, and answering what role engineers played in creating this world.

We ask our students, “who do you think built the X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Millenium Falcon, Death Star, Imperial Cruiser, Clone Troopers, and even the Jedi Academy?  Engineers.”  Then as engineers, we begin to reconstruct the world and story lines of Star Wars through our LEGO building.

Check out some pictures from a JEDI Engineering camp we recently held in Ventura County, CA.

Our staff member, Jared, with a group of mini Jedi Engineering builders.

Our staff member, Jared, with a group of mini Jedi Engineering builders.

A LEGO battle droid model and a X-Wing prototype welcomed these Jedi Engineers to the camp.

A LEGO battle droid model and a X-Wing prototype welcomed these Jedi Engineers to the camp.

If you’d like more information about our JEDI Engineering programs, click HERE.  We will be offering JEDI Engineering camps in various parts of the country this summer.  If you’d like to know if we are offering these camps in your area, simply click here and search for camps near you: http://www.play-well.org/summer/2013/.

PLAY WELL!

Meet Our Instructor, AG Osborne!

Meet Alex Gray Osborne, also known as AG.  AG is our newest North Carolina engineering instructor, and a recent graduate from North Carolina State University.  He told us that #4 on his bucket list was to get paid to play with LEGO.  This job helped him cross off one of the items on his bucket list.

AG's Bucket List.  #4. Getting paid to play with LEGO.

AG’s Bucket List. #4. Getting paid to play with LEGO.  Check!

AG recently helped out at our LEGO Kidsfest in Richmond, VA.  One of his jobs was to lay in LEGO.

AG recently helped out at our LEGO Kidsfest in Richmond, VA. One of his jobs was to lay in LEGO.

AG hanging out with R2D2.

AG hanging out with R2D2 and C3PO.

Last summer, AG worked in the Sierra Nevadas assisting the US Forest Service.  He also found time to drive cross-country.  Now AG hopes that some of the money he earns from this job can help him fulfill the next item on his bucket list: learning how to scuba dive.  If you are interested in working for Play-Well TEKnologies and are in the process of fulfilling something on your bucket list, visit our Play-Well Jobs Page.

Designing A LEGO Model of Boulder JCC

On Sunday, October 14th, 2012, we collaborated with the Boulder JCC in Colorado for their Kids Capital Campaign “Day of Building.”  Our Play-Well Design Team created a LEGO model of Boulder JCC, which was revealed to 250 of Boulder JCC’s members.  Here is a picture of the LEGO Model of Boulder JCC:

The model was initially designed in SF by our Design Team and then shipped to Colorado. Here is it right before it got packed away for its trip.

With all their members, we had ice cream, built more LEGO structures, and celebrated the unveiling of the LEGO Boulder JCC.  Here are pictures of the event.

The unveiling of the Boulder JCC LEGO Model.

On the right is Alex Shullman, the main architect of the Boulder JCC LEGO Model. Alex is also the VP of Curriculum at Play-Well.

The best part of the day was seeing budding architects inspired to build cool structures on this Kids Capital Campaign  Day of Building.

If you would like us to  design a LEGO Model for your organization or would like us to be a part of one of your events, feel free to email us jeff@play-well.org.

Play-Well Engineering w/LEGO Party & Swoop Bag Giveaway

We are collaborating with Swoop Bags to give away a 
Play-Well Engineering w/LEGO Birthday Party (Value: $300.00) and two Swoop Bags (Value: $96.00).

Details: Enter to win a Play-Well Engineering w/LEGO® Birthday Party (Value $300) PLUS two Swoop bags (Value $96). Expires 8/12/12

Who is Play-Well TEKnologies?
Play-Well TEKnologies provides project-based programs designed to teach the principles and methods of engineering to children, ages 5 – 14, using LEGO®. Play-Well has been growing future engineers since 1997.

What’s a Swoop Bag?
Swoop bags are the ultimate modern TOY STORAGE BAG + PLAYMAT in one.
www.swoopbags.com 

CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE!