Students in Bucks County are harnessing the power of technology to support health care workers during the coronavirius pandemic.
The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU), the Pennridge School District, and Matthew Genatempo collaborated to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to local hospitals and first responders in the surrounding area.
Genatempo is a junior at Pennridge High School and felt compelled to help the community during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Using his 3D printer at home, he began making PPE face shields.
Dr. Kathy Scheid, assistant superintendent for secondary education, connected Genatempo with Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU supervisor of STEAM education. They immediately got to work together! In addition, the Pennridge School District loaned Mr. Genatempo four additional 3D printers from Pennridge Central Middle, and the Pennridge School District STEM department began utilizing the resources in their Elementary STEM classrooms. Ken Ehrmann, an elementary STEM teacher, has also started producing PPE equipment.
The Genatempo family started a GoFundMe page to help support the cost of supplies and purchase other 3D printers, but recently, Genatempo applied and secured a 50-kilogram filament donation from 3D Printlife Support.
To distribute the PPE, Genatempo works with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, which has also been making face shields and established a Bucks County regional network for delivery that would get the PPE face shields to first responders and medical personnel.
As the Bucks IU operations expand to include larger printer and fabrication facilities (BucksIU.org/PPEFaceShields
), another unique need to support those fighting COVID-19 has developed; a need for ear savers. These small plastic devices allow the elastic earpieces from face masks to connect behind the head, instead of resting behind the ears in a way that can cause significant irritation and discomfort when worn on a long work shift.
So, Sides and Mr. Genatempo got to work again – Genatempo’s set-up was ideal for this kind of production.
On April 27, Genatempo and Megan Boletta, Bucks IU FAB LAB program coordinator, made a delivery of ear savers and Bucks IU PPE face shields to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem.
Jay Beyer, a 15-year-old resident of Washington Crossing, has channeled his passion for 3D printing into helping those on the front lines of the pandemic.
Beyer has been creating medical supplies for local hospitals, nursing homes and grocery store workers. So far he’s made face shields for doctors and nurses, and ear protectors to help relieve ear pain from wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time.
Beyer has started a GoFundMe page to help purchases a larger 3D printer for famking supplies faster and for parts and plastic filament for the printers he already has.