Igniting a passion for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) in middle-school aged children may seem daunting, but the leaders and innovators at Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center have accepted the challenge. The Jump STEAM program targets students in middle school all the way through college, offering them hands-on experiences in everything from anatomy and physiology to developing a virtual reality experience. But the leaders at Jump wanted this opportunity for ALL children, even children who may not be physically able to attend a course or who may not have the socioeconomic means to attend.
Together with the OSF HealthCare Foundation, Jump Simulation secured charitable donations that extended the STEAM program to reach children who are inpatient with extended overnight stays at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Oftentimes, children who have extended stays at OSF Children’s Hospital are unable to attend traditional classroom settings. With this new bedside STEAM program, children are given the opportunity to interact with hands-on educational toys and augmented reality to explore science and technology in an exciting, engaging way.
Additionally, because of the successful classroom and bedside STEAM program, the PNC Foundation became inspired. PNC Foundation has decided to award a $400,000 grant to Jump Simulation towards the STEAM program to ensure that all children continue to be inspired by STEAM programming. Brian Ray, PNC regional president for central Illinois explains, “We’re excited to support a program that reaches as many children as possible to spark the passion for engineering, science, health care or whatever creative path they choose.”
In the first year of implementation, the PNC grant was able to fund the design and implementation of a 22-page augmented reality activity book that works interactively with a free smart phone app called “About Me 3D.” The app uses augmented reality in tandem with the coloring book to create an immersive and engaging experience for children while bedside in the hospital. John Vozenilek, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Jump Simulation states, “Our Medical Visualization (MedVis) team stepped up in partnership with PNC’s vision for addressing the needs of children through STEAM education, leveraging brilliant technologies in service to ill and injured children.”.
More than 20,000 patients and students are expected to benefit from the five-year PNC grant. To further engage the youth of our community, scholarships funded by the PNC grant are offered to low-to-moderate income students in Peoria and the surrounding areas who express interest in attending STEAM program.” Additionally, the PNC Pediatric Classroom at OSF Children’s Hospital which assists patients in tutoring and school work while receiving treatment will benefit from this generous grant from PNC Bank.
To get involved and support STEAM programming, contact Erin Peterson, Strategic Philanthropy Officer at (309) 566-5670 or Erin.E.Peterson@osfhealthcare.org. Your support today helps ensure all children are inspired by science, technology, engineering, art and math.