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University of Central Florida and Nemours Children’s Hospital Team up to Provide STEM Education for Their Youngest Patients


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One study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found students who miss more than 15 school days between the seventh and eighth grades are seven times more likely to drop out. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

One study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found students who miss more than 15 school days between the seventh and eighth grades are seven times more likely to drop out. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons


A new partnership between Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida is aimed at bringing the classroom to hospitalized children.

Sixty children take classes through PedsAcademy, which brings math and science instruction to their bedside so they’re not behind when they return to school.

Megan Nickels of the University of Central Florida runs the program with Nemours Children’s Hospital staff. She says among the students is a patient with cystic fibrosis.

“We put her in the virtual reality and had her climbing Mount Everest and so in climbing Mount Everest she’s able to transcend her condition but as she’s doing that we have her doing tasks that have her calculating the linearity of the mountain.”

Nickels says the program is crucial, as one study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found students who miss more than 15 school days between the seventh and eighth grades are seven times more likely to drop out.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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