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    Matthew Genatempo makes PPE for local hospitals

    The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU), the Pennridge School District, and Pennridge High School junior Matthew Genatempo recently collaborated to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local hospitals and first responders in the surrounding area. 

    Matthew 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 Matthew with Dr. Lindsey Sides, Bucks IU Supervisor of STEAM Education. 

    They immediately got to work together! 

    In addition, the Pennridge School District loaned Matthew four additional 3D printers from Pennridge Central Middle, and the Pennridge School District STEM department began utilizing the resources in their Elementary STEM classrooms. 

    Mr. 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 Matthew applied and secured a 50-kilogram filament donation from 3D Printlife Support. 

    To distribute the PPE, Matthew works with the Bucks County IU, 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. 

    “The Pennridge School District is incredibly proud of the work Mr. Genatempo has done. He is the epitome of what it means to be proud, principled, and prepared,” said Dr. Kathy Scheid, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education.

    As the Bucks IU operations expand to include larger printer and fabrication facilities (www.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, Dr. Sides and Matthew got to work again – Matthew’s set-up was ideal for this kind of production. 

    On April 27th, Matthew 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, PA. The hospital had been in touch with Dr. Sides and expressed a dire need for both of these items at this location in their network.  

    Matthew’s desire to help any way he can, his 24/7 operations, and successful partnership with the Bucks IU are inspirational.  He truly exemplifies Pennridge Proud!

    PHOTO CAP: Matthew Genatempo and Megan Boletta deliver ear savers and face shields to St. Luke’s Hospital.