The George Mark Children’s House


The last place you might expect to find a makerspace is at The George Mark Children’s House, a pediatric palliative care facility in San Leandro, California. It is a place that cares for families who are going through the difficult end-of-life process for their child. I talk with Dr. Joan Fisher, the medical director, and Dr. Gokul Krishnan, a pioneer in the practice of maker therapy who just received a NSF grant to design and build a makerspace at the George Mark Children’s House.

Entrance for George Mark Children’s House

Dr. Joan Fisher is the medical director of the George Mark Children’s House, a pediatric palliative care home in San Leandro, California.
In this episode. I talk with Dr. Fisher and Dr. Gokul Krishnan who has pioneered maker therapy as a practice. Dr. Fisher met Gokul at Stanford, and she invited him to create a maker space that could be used by families and patients during their stay at the George Mark House.

In the fall of 2019, I visited the George Mark House. While Gokul was in the planning stages for the Makerspace. And he was getting some advice from Dr. Fisher and still seeking grant funding. Now, one year later in 2020, the National Science Foundation had awarded a grant of over $800,000 for Gokul and a team to design and build the makerspace at the George Mark Children’s House as well as at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, another Bay area hospital.

The George Mark House might be the last place you’d expect to find a maker-space. But I can’t think of a better place for one.

Link: Announcement of NSF Grant.


Dr. Joan Fisher, Medical Director of George Mark Children’s House; Kyle Amsler, Child Specialist;  Gokul Krishnan, pioneer of Maker Therapy.


Memory Tiles at George Mark Children’s House