Meeting with Children’s Hospital Staff

We met on Thursday March 17 with the staff at Children’s about expectations and guidelines for the children’s heart surgery website. The procedure we will be investigating and building an information site for is called an ASD procedure, which stands for atrial septal defect. We were told to make sure that we get all information on the procedure from .gov, .edu, and .org sites. Children’s Hospital is planning on talking to their account managers to decide if they could purchase a 3D model for us to use. It sounds like it will happen. Goretex Helix and Ampletzr are two companies that have the device that fills the hole in the heart; we can check around on those websites.

The following are the type of questions to keep in mind as we are developing the project for families (questions that families may have): What is the condition? (Explain it). What does it mean for our child’s health and life? What happens if we don’t do anything about it? What happens if we do? How is it going to limit our child’s life? How will it limit our families ability to do family things?

We also decided that we don’t want to dumb down the parents informational too much, perhaps show illustrations in both flat drawings and 3D modeling. We want to have a warm, caring tone, but also very straight and realistic.

Matt Girard gave a PDF presentation on ideas we have gathered so far. It was well-received, and the attending doctor and staff thought we were moving in the right direction. We are still unsure of what they want to do. Matt has attempted to communicate through email during spring break and got no response. As of now we are gathering the proper information for the surgery and the information for the parents. We wait patiently to hear back.

Children’s Hospital, Science Mentor Project Progress

Our group consists of the two Matts, Lex, and Suzanne. We have not yet had the chance to meet with anyone from Children’s Hospital, but received a description of a heart procedure that we may be able to use for our project, or at least use as a guideline to begin, until we have an actual face-to-face meeting with staff at Children’s.

We are planning on doing two separate forms of information describing the heart surgery, one as information for parents, and one for doctors. For the parents, we plan on using primarily Adobe Illustrator, maybe with some Flash. We want to tell a story to the parents, make it easy to understand, but not to make them feel stupid. We are going to illustrate specific steps in the surgery, with some information also on what to expect before and after surgery. Some ideas about what to include were food changes, how much sleep, how much play, interval between doctors appointments, what kind of impact this will have on both the parents & childs life. For medication schedule, an idea was to have a pill bottle icon with roll-over flash, pop-ups, etc. We have talked about having 3 separate pages: pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery.

For the doctors information, we are planning on using Maya. This part of the project will be more in depth about the surgery, with technical 3D illustrations of the heart. This will be a one page animation, including all relevant information about the surgery.

This whole project will be done so it can be published on the Children’s Hospital website.

Molecular Visualizations

My favorite series of work is from an artist named Mara Haseltine.  There are many examples of her work on her website, I am going to link to the whole page.  I like Water-Molecule Dream Catcher,  To build this water molecule, she collected trash flowing in the Potomac River in a 3 hour time span.  Her wider message was, water connects all of life, all these pieces of trash used to build the water molecule came from the Potomac River, which connects to the ocean, and on and on.

Another one of her works is called Waltz of the Polypeptide.  It is a large scale sculpture, in with the view can literally walk through the birth of a single protein.