Advancing the PNC Bedside STEAM Program

In 2018, Jump Simulation leaders had the idea to expand our successful Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) program to students who are also patients at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. But we didn’t necessarily have the resources to dedicate towards this project.

Thanks to a $400,000 grant spread out over five years from the PNC Foundation, we’ve been able to dedicate five interns with various backgrounds to help us get this idea off the ground. What they developed, with the help of our engineers and Medical Visualization team, was an augmented reality activity book and mobile app, named “About me 3D” as well as another app, called “Rube-E,” consisting of education modules on anatomy accompanied by a physical Rube Goldberg machine.

This past summer, another group of five interns with backgrounds in game design, video and animation, engineering and marketing worked with MedVis and our engineers to enhance and expand on “About Me 3D” and improve the user-interface of “Rube-E” and the Rube Goldberg machine. We were impressed with what this team was able to achieve in the span of a few months!

The summer work

The concepts for both the augmented reality activity book and “Rube-E” came out of the first class of intern projects. Students this summer focused on creating educational modules for the “Rube-E” app, perfecting the Rube Goldberg machine that’s designed to represent different systems of the body and building onto the successful “About Me 3D” book.

“The first thing we did is make visual blueprints of what we wanted the apps to look like and how to make the navigation and interface easy to use,” said Warren Guiles, a senior game design major at Bradley University and summer intern at Jump.

The “About Me 3D” app and activity book leverages augmented reality to give children the opportunity to learn about the body through coloring and interactive games. The “Rube-E” app introduces young people to anatomy using interactive videos and short quizzes. As students complete a section on anatomy, they are awarded a piece for the Rube Goldberg machine.  

“I’ve actually been working as an intern for Jump since October, 2018, and it’s been such a fulfilling experience,” said Warren. “I’ve done internships where I was given a list of things to do by the end of the day. But at Jump, we had the freedom to be creative and take charge of production.”

After completing their work on the apps, the interns had to work with OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois Child Life specialists to collect feedback from both them and children who might interact with these products. The “Rube-E” portion of the work is being introduced for the first time at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois this year.

Changing destinations

The amount of time it took our interns to produce a working app and expand on another is pretty incredible. The great thing is that the work doesn’t stop there. With the grant from PNC, we can continue to advance and improve what we’ve produced so far as well as create new materials along the way.

More importantly, we are expanding the minds of young people who aren’t aware of the creative opportunities possible in the health care space.

“As a game design student at BU, I admit I’ve always had a list of the top three game studios I want to work for when I graduate,” said Warren. “However, the work I’ve done for Jump has really opened my eyes to ways I can use my talents to help others.”

If you want to learn more about the apps developed by our interns along with our MedVis and engineering teams, visit our apps page for more information.