A team of District 99 teachers developed a prototype for a face shield and is creating the shields by using 3D printers at both South High and North High. So far, they have created more than 800 face shields and donated to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Edward-Elmhurst Hospital, Christ Hospital, Hinsdale Hospital Labor/Delivery, Loyola University Medical Center, among many other hospitals and clinics, to protect against COVID-19.
“As the need kept growing for protective equipment for healthcare workers and first-responders during the pandemic, we knew we needed to help,” said South High Career and Technical Education Teacher Mark Molinari. “Scott Parker, a science teacher at South High, found a template to use from other science teachers in Illinois and that launched our effort.”
In addition to Molinari and Parker, South High Career and Technical Education Teacher Ryan Altenburg and North High Science Department Chair Mike Heinz are contributing to the project. Kevin Keisner, a retired engineer who volunteers with South High’s Robotics Club and Career and Technical Education projects, maintains the printers as they are running 20 hours per day. To practice social distancing, several students including Mateo Garcia, Ashley Molinari, Aubrey Molinari, Max Molinari and Sean Nolan have assisted by printing materials and organizing order deliveries from their homes. To view more photos of the process and deliveries, click here.
The face shield, which includes a plastic head piece and clear shield, can be sanitized and reused. The team does not warrant the masks for any particular purpose; users need to assess the effectiveness of the shield depending on their situation.
The 3D printers can generate over 175 face shields per day, and over 2,000 orders have been placed by local medical workers in need of this protection. The team is working seven days a week on all 12 3D printers at both schools to fulfill the orders. Three of the 3D printers were gifted by District 99 Education Foundation grants.
Each face shield created at South High costs $1 to produce. To support this effort, community members can donate through the District 99 Education Foundation, click here.