School Program

Boy writing what he learned with PedsAcademy at Nemours Children's Hospital.

Innovative, Interactive Education

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, our school program, PedsAcademy, is the world’s first pediatric school program designed to provide children in hospitals with research-backed, technology-based educational opportunities specific to a child’s disease or condition. It’s the first children’s hospital to offer immersive virtual reality (kids feel part of simulated, realistic environments) as part of a school program.

PedsAcademy features highly interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, as well as reading, music and special education. We created the program jointly with the University of Central Florida (UCF).

About Our Program

Program Highlights

PedsAcademy offers:

  • a team of 54 UCF-affiliated faculty members on-site, Monday through Friday
  • researched-based curriculum produced in-house by the PedsAcademy team and from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)  
  • hands-on learning techniques
  • immersive virtual reality (computer-generated experiences that allow kids to learn while interacting with simulated environments through sight, sound and touch using a headset) 
  • robotics (kids learn computer science and “program” robots to accomplish mathematical tasks)
  • engineering education (learning through making things, using high-tech or low-tech tools) 
  • 3-D printing technology, printing solid plastic items that kids design
  • Kubi telepresence robot to help children connect by live video camera to after-school clubs
  • mobile teaching carts, serving children at their bedside and in small groups

Immediate Access for All Patients and Siblings

All school-age children on Nemours premises are eligible immediately. Our education is available for all patients — and their siblings, too.

Virtual Reality Education

The Impact of Virtual Reality Education

Virtual reality (VR) technology is especially helpful for kids experiencing pain, nausea or anxiety from medical procedures — which can make it hard to learn. VR “worlds” are deeply engaging scenarios that not only distract children from unpleasant side effects, they can also transport them to authentic learning environments. They can explore Mars, tour the Louvre, or travel inside the circulatory system. Research shows that VR education can directly contribute to increased memory in children and young adults.

Contact Us

Monday–Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Megan Nickels, PhD
Faculty Director
megan.nickels@nemours.org