Young Patients as Innovators

Young Patients as Innovators: Developing Pediatric Makerspaces to Enhance Chronically Ill Children’s STEM Learning, Self-Agency, and Identity is a two-year AISL Innovations in Development project. Led by Dr. Maria Olivares and Dr. dana dunwoody┬á of Boston University and Andrew Coy of Digital Harbor Foundation. The project will collaborate with young patients, their families, and hospital staff to design informal STEM learning experiences in pediatric settings. The project aims to provide opportunities for creative, exploratory, and experimental STEM learning by designing maker learning experiences that are designed to meet the needs, concerns, and interests of he local community from the onset to support informal STEM learning for hospitalized patients in multiple and varied pediatric environments serving diverse youth in Boston and Baltimore whose patient populations are predominantly youth of color from low-income backgrounds and are among those historically underrepresented in STEM fields and subject to health disparities and healthcare inequities. Through patient centered co-design, this project will build adaptable STEM learning environments conducive to STEM-rich learning, exercising of self-agency, and robust and personally-meaningful STEM identity development for hospitalized youth.