Jenny Krzystowczyk, Technology Integration Specialist for the Middle School, shares a story about how being a maker builds strong communities.
On day 15 or our relegated at-home time, the idea of 3d printing files to help build face shields for local medical providers kept coming across my feeds. From email to Facebook to my Twitter feed, it was front and center on my mind. My oldest daughter in the meantime had been connecting with people on Reddit.com and Facebook groups and saw people asking for help with 3d printing. All of this came together quickly as a way that we could help support our community. With four 3D printers sitting in my classroom and a personal one in my home office, it was worth an ask to see what we could do to help support groups who were asking for help.
Ensworth was kind enough to give me the go-ahead to begin printing headgear to make face shields for local health care workers. After a field trip to school and loading up the printers and supplies, we began printing in my garage on Friday, April 3rd. Health care workers shared the approved files with us and we began printing pretty much around the clock. So far we have printed up to 90 face field parts.
We’ve had one doctor from General Hospital come and pick them up and the other set is going to a group, The Covid19 Liberators out of Sumner County. It is amazing to see people around Nashville pulling together to print pieces necessary to protect local health care workers. What could have been collecting dust in my empty classroom is now literally saving lives.
Students have also shared videos of themselves sewing masks. If you are a maker who sews, check out Med Threads Volunteers Nashville Facebook group to help out. They will send you the pattern and you commit to making as many masks as you can. They are happy to get whatever they can to donate to local hospitals.
Being a maker has truly empowered me, my family, and some of our students during this very challenging time. While we spend lots of hours online working and studying, we’ve found ways to do something for others and I know many of our students are doing the same. If you have a 3D printer or want more information on groups to connect with that need our help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Pediatrician and past parent, Dr. Chetan Mukundan, received the masks and commented, "The face shields are great, as we can swab noses/throats much more safely." See a photo of Dr. Mukundan in the slideshow below.
The Service Learning program helps students become immersed in a culture of philanthropy and creativity. Mary Catherine Bradshaw, Service Learning Coordinator and English teacher at the high school, heard about one student giving back to the community from home. Ella Hartman ‘22 honed her sewing machine skills by sewing cloth masks which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended as effective for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In Service Learning, students adapt to best use the available resources. “Elastic can be hard to find right now,” Hartman says. “If you can’t find it you can make four ties attached at each corner out of t-shirts. Cut the t-shirt into 20” x 1” strips.” See the video in the slideshow below.
Lower School mother, Christine Fry, also pitched in to make masks and threw in her school spirit.