Maker Space Therapy


“When I looked into [Joshua]’s room before I came in, he seemed so bored. Laying down and watching some TV
didn’t seem to intrigue him too much. I knocked on his screen door with the 3D printer and he sat right up!” -Intern

“I’m having so much fun! I want to stay at the hospital!” -Child

His mom looked at me and said with a smile, “You know, [Joshua] has been here for a week and hasn’t talked to anyone. This is the first time he’s had this much energy since we’ve been here, and I can see how happy he is. Thank you so much.” -Parent

They pleaded, “No! We don’t want you to leave! Please come back!” -Children

She was SO intrigued by both 3D printer and little bits, every new thing she discovered was a new reaction of excitement. It made me so happy that she was enjoying everything, given that she was a bit older. Because I knew how agile and smart she was, I wanted to show her Tinkercad to empower her to create her own design. Once I showed her how to do one, she did the rest! And she put a little star next to her name :) We popped the file into the 3D printer and let it print as we moved onto the little bits. -Intern

I suggested maybe we could do something that shows her mood so maybe next time she doesn’t have to say it. “Oh my gosh, yeah let’s do it!” she exclaimed. I pulled out all of the crafts I had and we got to work. We listed all the possible moods she feels, all very reasonable moods, in the hospital and put it on a clock. We used the button and motor circuit and punched a hole through, and then attached a little piece of pink paper onto it so she could press the button to accurately depict how she’s feeling. Once I told her she could keep everything, including the little bits, she was so grateful. -Intern and Child

At the end, I asked him his favorite part of the hospital. “This!” he said. I asked, “what about the dogs?” and he confirmed that this was better than the dogs. -Intern and Child

The following two days I came back to CHOC and Child Life specialists were absolutely raving about what [Lluli] and I made together. They were swept off their feet at how creative it was and how happy [Lluli] was. They were discussing it over lunch and I had another child life specialist come up to me after to request if I could go into Neurology next. -Intern

I asked her what she would want brought to life here if she had the chance. Her dog was a no-brainer, she answered right away. And I can understand why, since it was prohibited to bring her dog with her in the hospital, and she was near isolation with her condition. So we printed her a dog, to give her (and her mom) a little sense of home after being cooped up in the room. When it was done printing, Tiffany and her mom were beyond impressed. The dog, which was identical to hers, even had intricate fur on it, making it even more real. She was so happy, and not from the print, but because it reminded her of home. -Intern

For the first time, I peeked into the playroom on the oncology floor to see if I could engage any patients outside of their room. She was playing pretend kitchen, serving plastic food to the volunteers and her parents. When I came in with the printer and little bits, she stopped and ran over. Although she was very young, her mind was so curious about everything. She was laughing and giggling at the buzzer circuit, showing her parents what she had done. -Intern

I showed her some of the little bits and she raved about how cool science was while she analyzed how the different combinations of circuits created certain outputs. Then, the lion finished printing. Everyone in the room, including doctors who came back to see it finished, was in awe. We passed it around until ultimately ending at [Sammie] and she held it close to her chest with a smile. -Intern

Her eyes lit up and her jaw dropped as the cart slowly made its way into her room. -Intern

The more we talked, the more he opened up to me about his life and passions. And let’s not forget the biggest thing I learned about him - he can talk. His words were racing out of his mouth, as if he had been waiting to share all this information with someone. [Joshua] is an amazing kid, like all the other patients I’ve gotten to know. He is intrigued by math, science, and astronomy, he even told me he wants to be a future astronomer. -Intern