The Story medicine/Animation Collaborative project


The Drexel/CHOP Story Medicine Animation Collaboration was inaugurated in the fall of 2017.  The purpose of this project is to allow medically fragile children with long-term hospitalizations or terminal illnesses to see their own imaginative work come to life in cutting edge animation format.  


Four patients identified by Child Life Services at CHOP worked with Story Medicine students to develop their own original stories, story boards, live action films and 3-D immersive motion capture versions of the work. Then, in collaboration with Drexel animation students from the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, the motion capture material was transformed into two-minute original animated shorts.


A first-ever film festival was held at CHOP to shine a spotlight on the creative work of these special patients.  In the fall of 2018, we met with new patients.  Their films and an augmented reality project is currently underway.



The Animation Project's innovation lies in combining a unique pedagogical experience for undergraduates and Drexel’s sophisticated cutting edge technological resources with a hands-on creative journey for hospitalized children.  Storytelling takes place at all levels of interaction, through the brainstorming of stories, the writing of scripts, performing of plays, drawing of characters, creation of animated shorts, and ultimately through the reflective writing of undergraduates.  The end result is a dynamic one of a kind work-in-progress made possible through a pioneering partnership between a civically engaged university (Drexel), two engaged colleges (CoAS and Westphal), and a premier children's hospital (CHOP).