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:

IMG_9202 IMG_9204 IMG_9206 IMG_9207 IMG_9208 IMG_9209 IMG_9210

LEGO…You Are Better Than Beauty Tips

We recently came across this parent blog post in the New York Times called Beauty Tips For Girls, From LEGO.  Here is an excerpt of the piece:

motherlode-lego-tmagArticle

“My 7-year-old wants to know if she has an oval face. Why? Because “oval faces can often have almost any style haircut because almost everything looks great on this face shape!” Her sudden concern with her hairstyle “looking great” comes courtesy of her new Lego Club Magazine, which included “Emma’s Beauty Tips” in the March-April 2015 Lego Club Magazine.  She is 7. My little girl, the shape of her face, and whether her haircut is flattering are none of Lego’s concern. It wasn’t even her concern until a toy magazine told her to start worrying about it.  I had come down (barely) on Lego’s side in its quest to sell girls the glammed-up Lego Friends line, full of bricked-out beauty salons and pool parties and horse stables. But now this?”

Our Response:

Dear LEGO,

Typically we love you and your work, but your LEGO Friends beauty tips in the last issue of the LEGO Club Magazine is just wrong.  Being smart and kind is beautiful, not your hair or face shape.  Playtime shouldn’t be about beauty tips, it should be about learning and growing. Shaping the next generation is a great privilege. Let’s not waste it.  If anything, this is the type of beauty tip we expect from you LEGO and you said this message back in 1981.  Still relevant today.

CATQZnIVIAA52lG

 

 

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.

Kids Rebuilding Their City with LEGO After Hurricane Sandy!

Through our non-profit organization, Play-Well Outreach, we were lucky enough to work with children in March 2013, at Belle Harbor School in Rockaway, NY.  Many of the families there had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy.  The 55 kids, in attendance, helped rebuild part of Rockaway, in their own way, using LEGO.

Kids rebuilding their city out of LEGO.

Kids rebuilding their city out of LEGO.

We talked about the importance of the community, our engineers, construction workers, our leaders, and even how kids can help with the relief effort.  Parents even joined in on the fun once we got started. We split the engineers into 3 groups, and kids chose what part of the Rockaway they wanted to build.  It was rewarding to see the kids learning the importance of teamwork and being united, just as their families and community have learned during this time of need.

photo 3_1

At the end of the day, all the kids combined their sections of the city to rebuild Rockaway, NY.

photo 2

The  families, who in some cases are still homeless, carried a level of resilience that is inspiring.  Long after the storm, there are many families still working to rebuild their homes in Rockaway, and this gave the kids an opportunity to also contribute.  If you’d like to help support the work being done to rebuild in Rockaway and surrounding communities after Hurricane Sandy, you can donate to these organizations:

Rockaway Help

Americares

Here is a video of the devastation that hit Rockaway:

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!

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!