Ann Arbor, MI (CBS Detroit)
62 CBS Detroit
What do you get when you mix a 24-year-old and a cart full of Legos? You get John McInerney. The University of Michigan grad formed an LLC called Build Up STEAM, a robotics studio designed to promote hands-on play and education through customized programs. Whether it’s one child in a hospital or 30 in a classroom, Buildup Mobile is ready for any scenario.
John strives to inspire creative and positive thinking by building an environment of encouragement and healing. He uses his skills to help children at The University of Michigan C.S. Motts Children’s Hospital. The building skills that he shares helps kids focus on fun with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) instead of their illness.
“I enjoy helping to create moments that bring joy. There are moments when I see kids in the room just bored out of their minds, so I just pop in like ‘hey, you wanna hang out and build a robot’. And they hop out of bed like ‘let’s go!’ And seeing that kind of spark of energy really makes those moments special.”
“It’s fun to see their eyes almost smiling, there are happiness and joy…that childhood spark that pops back and they forget that they’re sick, they forget they’re in the hospital. They’re just having fun, they’re being kids.”
“I’m able to be in here specifically hanging out with the kids, making it more fun for them so they can focus on other things that are very important to the healing process. There’s really not that many people that know my actual name around here, it’s like ‘Hey Lego guy’.”
“The fact that no matter what they’re going through, they still want to hang out. Those moments where the kids can just be kids are my favorite, and that’s what keeps me doing this”