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Kids Help Kids with STEM Camp Kits

Kids Help Kids with STEM Camp Kits

Boredom can be a problem for pediatric patients. They often spend many idle hours in the hospital, so WMC's Child Life Coordinator Tanya Armstrong was delighted when the staff at STEM Innovators inquired about holding a Make and Share Camp to create hands-on STEM* kits for Valley Health's youngest patients. And she was even more excited when she learned that children of WMC caregivers were being recruited to attend the camp for free to make the STEM kits for local patients. It was a real "by kids, for kids" adventure! (*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)

Held at Easely Created in Winchester, seven staff children ages 7-12 participated, putting together Make Your Own Slime, Bug-Catcher, and Pirate Ship kits. The kits are designed to encourage play and problem solving, so patients have a chance to exercise their brain cells during their hospital stay. "The kits are also useful when doctors want to observe patients engaged in activities," says Tanya. She continued that watching as one of our pediatric patients follows the recipe to make slime, for example, is a good way for physicians, therapists and other caregivers to evaluate patient progress.

At the end of the camp, the group had put together 65 STEM kits, which have been quarantined before distribution to patients. "The group at STEM Innovators had contacted me in February before COVID as they wanted to do a project to give back to the community. Offering this camp for free to staff kids was really supportive of those on the frontline at WMC," Tanya added.

Thank you STEM Innovators and Easely Created for partnering with our team and their children to serve pediatric patients!