MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires, High School Principal Dr. John Murray and Middle School Principal Craig Juelis are pleased to share that two Medway Public Schools teachers are addressing the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic by 3D printing face shield components for healthcare workers.
Jon Jasinski, a physics, engineering and robotics teacher at Medway High School, and Mary Ann Tourkantonis, a technology education teacher at Medway Middle School, transported both schools’ 3D printers to their homes to begin printing the frame component of protective face shields.
The teachers are working off of open source, computer-aided frame designs provided by Mass STEM Hub. Mass STEM Hub has coordinated the efforts of several schools with 3D printers to collect and share a variety of design options with teachers willing to print and optimize the designs for their specific printer. All of the face shield designs have been approved as viable options for use in the healthcare industry.
After obtaining the 3D printers from school last week, Jasinski has produced 76 frames. Jasinski used the original design file and arranged the parts in such a way as to be able to print two frames at one time. He can print two frames every two and a half hours on one printer and two frames every four hours on another printer. This results in about 12-14 frames during a full day of printing.
Tourkantonis has been printing for two weeks for approximately 10 hours per day and has produced 96 frames.
Once printed, the completed frames are picked up by Mass STEM Hub which fits the one-size-fits-all frame with a transparent plastic film to create a complete face shield. The shields are then donated to Massachusetts General Hospital where they will be worn by healthcare workers over face masks or respirator masks.
“Putting the printing equipment we already have to use while schools are closed is a simple, yet meaningful way for us to be able to contribute much needed resources to our community,” Superintendent Pires said. “We would like to recognize both Jon and Mary Ann who were willing to take the printers home and who each spend many hours each day printing these components. Not only are they serving as excellent role models by helping in a time of need, but their work is also an example to our students of how valuable STEM skills are.”
Mass STEM Hub has also written a teacher’s guide for educators to integrate this project into their remote learning classrooms. This guide allows students to be inspired and become active members in the global community answering this call for action. Students will learn about 3D printing PPE solutions by exploring form and function as well as fabrication and assembly steps. They will also explore human and emotional design factors focusing on lowering stress and increasing morale for front line workers. Finally, students will use the engineering design process to enhance the initial 3D printable face shield solution.