LEGO Foundation to donate LEGO® MRI Scanners to hospitals globally.[Update: Applications Closed]

Outside of the time that I spend thinking about LEGO, I work as a doctor looking after patients needing anaesthesia. Typically, this is for surgery but sometimes for other things: childbirth, correcting heart rhythms, and occasionally helping people through investigations where the environment is a little bit scary and intimidating.

One such environment is the MRI (Magnetic resonance) scanner: a relatively closed and noisy environment, some children might require an anaesthetic to help them through the experience. Such investigations are used in children to investigate problems such as brain tumors, seizures as well as other problems.

Not every child needs an anaesthetic, however. Some find that using music or videos during the scan can make it easer, but without a doubt, the greatest antidote to fear is education.

As such, I was extremely excited to hear that the LEGO Foundation, the charitable arm of the LEGO Group, are planning to donate 600 models of MRI scanners to hospitals around the world to help children to become more familiar and understand the process when they go into hospital for such investigations.

The project was initiated by chemical technician Erik Ullerlund Staehr as a passion project. More recently Senior Designer at the LEGO Group, Rok Zgalin Kobe, has been spearheading the model design and functionality adjustments of the LEGO MRI Scanner.

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The LEGO Foundation starts to roll out Braille Bricks.

Last April, the LEGO Foundation announced the pilot program involving using modified 2×4 bricks to teach Braille to visually impaired students around the world. After more than a year in pilot programs, the Foundation are pleased to announce that the finalised product will start to roll out around the world – in six countries initially, followed by a wider distribution in 2021.

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Families That Play More Are Happier, But Even Children They Are Too Busy For Fun And Games (2018 LEGO® Play Well Report)

Untitled 3The LEGO Foundation recently commissioned a cross cultural survey looking at attitudes and behaviours related to play.  Families in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States were surveyed during February and March 2018.  The resulting Play Well report was released today.

The report looks at four key areas: of the benefits of play for parents, children and families; preferences and barriers to play, the importance of lifelong learning through play and the role of play in developing skills for the future.

The report makes for interesting reading, and it is apparent that some of the common issues that we feel that we face in Australia such as increased programmed time with activities; dedication to digital based play, and the struggle experienced by families to spend quality time together are part of the global parenting experience.

If you wish to download the report, which also breaks down the responses by country, for further perusal, you can do so here. In the meantime, please enjoy this infographic summary of the report. Continue reading