by Stewart Gross
Students from Council Rock South High School’s honors engineering class are giving back to the community during the COVID-19 crisis. They have literally been working around-the-clock since Pennsylvania schools shut down on March 12th, producing medical face shields and donating them to area hospitals through the Bucks County Emergency Operations Center in Ivyland.
Their hard work is helping to alleviate the shortage of PPE’s so that frontline medical professionals can treat needy patients during the pandemic.
CRHS South students, Daniel Krauss, Dean DiDomenico, Noah Necowitz, and Dylan Weselovs have been continuously printing the parts for the masks from their respective homes in Northampton Township for two months now.
All of this is done with the full permission and supervision of their parents, who are very proud of their sons’ generosity.
The students and their parents drop the face shield parts on the front porch of the teacher who taught them the production process, Industrial Technology teacher Fred Bauer.
Bauer then sanitizes the parts, assembles, and delivers them to the Bucks EOC.
The EOC is coordinating this effort by tracking which medical facilities need the face shields.
Mr. Bauer drops them off in the garage bay of the EOC and has on several occasions observed them instantly loaded onto a delivery truck and immediately shipped out to facilities such as St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne.
Appreciative coordinators at the EOC have thanked the students from a safe distance.
Some of the shields have also been distributed to local assisted living facilities who reached out to Council Rock North Assistant Principal, Nate Scott.
Fifty face shields have been delivered to Pickering Manor and Chandler Hall.
The four students originated the idea themselves from their learnings in Bauer’s honors course in Industrial Technology.
In this class, the students not only learned how to fabricate products using a 3-D printer, but also how to work in project teams just as they would for a real world technology company.
The project team concept includes designating a project coordinator. The student project coordinator for this team is Daniel Krauss, who helps to set the agenda for the four students and reports back to Mr. Bauer. Students in the honors technology and robotics class work in this project team structure all year in school.
This entire process happened within two days of the March 12th shutdown, when Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Andy Sinko, called Mr. Bauer and notified him that someone was in contact with him about the need for facemask production.
The district allowed Mr. Bauer to put on protective equipment, and retrieve five three-D printers out of his classroom at CR South.
He sanitized them and distributed them to his students.
The students immediately went to work designing masks using specifications laid-out by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC is the command center for quality control of PPE’s being produced and distributed to healthcare professionals in the country.
The CDC has designated the Emergency Operations Center to do quality control approval of any PPE’s being produced and distributed in the Lower Bucks County area.
The 3D print jobs the four students are doing range between two-and-a-half to four hours.
They have been able to produce and donate over 1,000 face shields at this point. All four of the students are running these jobs 24-7 and set their alarm clocks in the middle of the night to load the plastic.
The 3D printers were purchased with funding from the Council Rock Educational Foundation, and the plastic used in producing the shields has been graciously donated by Bauer and one parent who is also helping to assemble the finished product.
The Bucks County EOC will reimburse them for the plastic purchases.
PHOTO CAPS: 1. Dean DiDomenico with his 3D printer.
2. Noah Necowitz with face mask parts.