Markham Face Shield Collaboration
Posted: 31 August 2020
6 – 17
- Sense of responsibility
During the COVID 19 pandemic that put the world into lockdown, Markham College decided to take action in order to make a difference and “be a part of the solution” by offering MINSA (The Ministry of Health) its design expertise to make Face-shields for healthcare workers in Peru. This project was led by Mr. Jeremy Brown and the Design and MakerSpace staff who were allowed in school during the quarantine to complete the project. Students from Early Years to Upper School also assembled face-shields at home.
The need to join the many efforts that were made nation wide to fight COVID 19 brought together a team of Design and Maker-Space staff at Markham College to design and manufacture face-shields for front line workers. This initiative was extended to the wider Markham Community of staff and students who were also invited to join in and soon they had gathered a group of volunteers that would help from home. Although they were quarantined, each one of them was sent a box of 50 components to assemble, sanitise and package ready to be then sent to the Ministry of Health. The instructions were uploaded to the Makerspace web page so that the volunteers could follow the steps from home and become real face shields constructors.
For the Markham Community that helped us make the face-shields we offered a how-to-guide to explain the process. Once they had sent the completed face-shields back to school we then repackaged them in packs of 100 and sent them on to the Ministry for redistribution.
At this point we decided to add our initiative to the collaboration platform on the Round Square website to see if any other schools could run a similar project and offered to host a webinar session that would be open to the whole network. We had much interest from other 8 other Round Square schools that attended our webinar. These were: Dhirubhai Ambani International School, The Sagar School, The Punjab Public School, Daly College, Mody School Lakshmangarh, Genesis Global School and The Doon School. The session was finally held on Monday June 8th with 100 students participating. Firstly we showed our attendees the step by step making process and shared with them the instructions showing how this could be replicated in other schools and other countries. After that we opened the space up for Q&A, and were very pleased to see the great interest and engagement that students showed.
However, we have yet to hear more about what they have implemented within their school setting as our project largely rests on a school either having a laser-cutter or a 3D printer to make face-shields. Nonetheless, if schools do not have this equipment we came up with an alternative version of face-masks that can be done with a sewing machine or simply a needle and thread following these instructions.
The main issue was acquiring permits to enter school in order to access the 3D printers we needed to use for the project and turn the makerspace into our workshop. The Peruvian quarantine was particularly long and particularly strict, so achieving this was a great challenge. In fact, the 7 Design and MakerSpace staff were the only members of staff allowed in school during the quarantine. Another challenge was to be able to fund the project. To achieve this we asked for money from the Patronato (Markham’s Charity arm) and they were the ones matching any cost endured by each department.
We are happy to share that Markham will be donating another 1000 face-shields to the Ministry of health and an extra 1000 to “ Communidad Nativa” Palma Real in the Amazon. This significant achievement was possible thanks to the commitment of our high powered community and our actively engaged students.
Although this project has not been part of our curriculum, we are looking into how we can incorporate a COVID-19 response arm to our IMPACT subject. IMPACT is our project based learning programme. We are currently looking into the viability of sending those in need a survival pack from members of the Markham Community. This would include non-perishable food and PPE such as face-shields and face-masks.
This project was great for engaging the Markham Community (student, parents and staff) making face-shields. Families have shared photographs of them making their face-shields around the kitchen table and we have been sharing these on our instagram account: @markhammakerspace
- Find the need within your local community (there maybe no need for face-shields, but a high need for face-masks for example)
- Prototype what you are making as all equipment is different
- Seek advice from those that have made the product already (we are very happy to help)
- Ensure your product is being share directly with those that need it most
Author: Jeremy Brown, Head of Maker Space, Markham College