Building a Relationship: One Brick at a Time
Published on March 24, 2022, at 2:04 p.m.
by Morgan Keel.
The Lego Group started in a small carpenter’s workshop in 1932. Since then it has grown into one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers. The same brick created by the company in 1958 is still used today, even 50 years later.
But there is more to the company than just its famous Lego brick.
Through Lego’s Local Community Engagement Program, The Lego Foundation strives to fuel a child’s thirst for learning since the foundation believes children are born scientists and explorers; they just have to “convince the grown-ups.” The foundation wants kids to explore everything — even big, scary doughnut-looking machines.
Much like adults, some kids must have a magnetic resonance imaging test, more commonly known as an MRI. Naturally, children are afraid of the machine, and the foundation wanted to change that. So, the Lego company designed a campaign that allows kids to create a trusting relationship with a radiologic technician through its iconic Lego bricks.
To help ease the nerves of young patients, Lego designers created the MRI Lego Kit. The kit includes Lego bricks to build an MRI machine, patients, technicians and a control room.
While technicians cannot take apart an MRI machine to show kids how it works, they can take apart and rebuild a Lego version to help kids better understand the procedure. The company is helping medical professionals build relationships with their patients through the Lego MRI machines.
A viral tweet showed a hospital employee building the Lego MRI machine. Since the kits are not sold in stores and are only available for hospital use, sneak peaks from hospitals are the only way the public can see the behind-the-scenes building of these Lego machines.
Ulla Jensen, Department of Radiology at Odense University Hospital, noted that “MRI Scanners are huge machines. They also make a lot of noise which can be very daunting for children. Our team [has] found that use of models such as the LEGO models has led to more positive, calm experiences for many children.”
Since the launch of these kits, approximately 100 hospitals across the world have benefited from the use of the Lego MRI machines.
Lego chemical technician Erik Ullerlund Staehr stated that “I’ve seen first-hand how children have responded to the LEGO models: making them feel more relaxed and turning an often highly stressful experience into a positive, playful one.”
For decades, Legos have allowed kids to build whatever they can imagine. Now the Lego company is helping kids build a trusting relationship with their medical professionals one brick at a time.