World-Renowned LEGO Artist, Alice Finch, the creator of the 400,000 piece LEGO Hogwarts introduced students to the many technological advancements contributed by female scientists and engineers today at Play Well Northwest Activity Center. Children learned about these female scholars by experientially building LEGO models of their great 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.
We just had to make a LEGO version of the Billions Back Guy on April 15th. Happy Tax Day!
Update: April 28th, 2015
We sent one of our Play-Well LEGO Bow Ties to the H&R Block Guy and here was the result.
For Boulder Public Library’s Main Library renovation, we ran our Engineering with LEGO workshops and were able to create a 16 ft tall tower to welcome patrons to the new main library. A little Colorado State pride also made its way to the top of the tower.
If you’d like us to participate in your upcoming event, check out our Play-Well Special Events Page and complete one of our event forms.
WHEN: Saturday, April 18th, 10 AM – 5:30 PM
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Society of Black Engineers invited us to their annual conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. Future engineers from all across the country flew in to learn more about the world of engineering and how they can pursue a career in the engineering field. Our job was to introduce elementary through high school students to the world of engineering using LEGO. We really appreciate the opportunity to work with extremely smart, dedicated, focused students. Thanks NSBE for having us! Here is a video and pictures of what we were able to create with these awesome engineers of the future.
If you’d like us to participate in your conference, check out our Special Events page.
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:
“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?”
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.
National Engineering Week: Building Boulder out of LEGO
WHEN: Saturday, February 21st, 1 PM – 4 PM
WHERE: Boulder Public Library
It is no mystery that America has some catching up to do with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. The National Math & Science Initiative has reported that “only 38% students who have STEM majors receive a degree in that major, and 31 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degrees were awarded in science and engineering fields, compared with 61 percent in Japan and 51 percent in China.”
The city of Boulder, Colorado is doing something to address this problem. Boulder Valley School District is applying for STEM Grants and building STEM Coalitions with local universities. Supporting local STEM non-profits like Cool Girls, hosting Maker Faire Boulder and Boulder Public Library’s STEAM Saturdays.
On Saturday, February 21st, Boulder Public Library is teaming up with Play-Well TEKnologies, an organization that teaches kids engineering concepts using LEGO, in a collaborative effort to introduce more kids to the world of engineering. Over 100,000 pieces of LEGO and hundreds of families will be converging on the Boulder Public Library, in an effort to build the City of Boulder out of LEGO and get more kids interested in engineering and other STEM and STEAM-related fields.
Brianna Laffey, a Play-Well staffer who is helping to coordinate the event, says “the goal of this event is to introduce kids to engineering in a fun, memorable way so they want to know more” and “help promote the good work that the Boulder Library is doing around STEAM.”
This event coincides with the beginning of National Engineering Week. “The idea of building Boulder out of LEGO partly represents that it is going to take a community to help build the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. We just so happen to be doing it one LEGO brick at a time.”
Play- Well TEKnologies programs are not authorized, sponsored or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.
What Is It Like Working at Play-Well? We asked our managers and instructors from across the country what it was like working for Play-Well TEKnologies and this is what they had to say.
If you are looking a fun, challenging, dynamic job teaching kids engineering with 20,000 pieces of LEGO, find out more information here: http://bit.ly/play-well-jobs.
As we ring in the New Year, we just wanted to say thank you for your support and for joining us on our Play-Well adventures in 2014. We hope you and your family’s 2015 is filled with happiness, fulfillment, educational epiphanies, and of course, awesome LEGO builds. We hope you’ll be able to LEGO more this year and play well! May this be your most satisfying and memorable year yet.