Winneshiek County Hospital pairing with South Winneshiek School District

Winneshiek County Hospital pairing with South Winneshiek School District

In early April Iowa school districts were asked to complete a survey. The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) was interested to see if public/nonpublic schools had 3D printer(s) that the school would consider loaning for a period of time to local nonprofit companies for use to make face shields necessary for medical care providers to use to reduce their exposure to COVID-19. Shortly after submitting the survey the IDOE reached out to those schools that were interested with directives.

  1.  Have a staff member(s) run your entity’s 3D printer at your building with face shield headgear templates provided by the network.
  2. Assist in loading the Area Education Association (AEA) van on a daily basis with finished product to be be transported by the AEA van to its destination for assembly.

The IDOE wanted to start the process immediately. I reached out to the South Winneshiek teachers that utilize 3D printers to gauge interest, and they were eager to begin the project immediately. Mike Johnson, South Winneshiek Middle School Social Studies and Technology Teacher and Jason Drucker, South Winneshiek High School Science and Project Lead the Way Teacher contacted AEA about templates and needs. They they reached out to the Winneshiek County Hospital to formulate a plan.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Drucker then began producing materials for workers at the Winneshiek County Hospital. South Winneshiek Schools has offered help and materials to build surgical mask straps and face shields. These materials are being produced via 3D printers that are used for education. There are currently three printers producing parts with the help of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Drucker. Below you can see images of the face shields and mask straps.

The process is quite time consuming and rigorous. The 3D printer takes a spool of plastic and melts it and then lays it down layer by layer to build the individual pieces. The materials we’re using are from our supplies. Jason and Mike have created seven trials or prototypes to develop the best mask possible. They will be able to print about 6 masks per day per 3D printer. We have three, 3D printers going. It takes about three hours to make all the parts for one complete mask. They can make two straps in about 12 minutes. They have made 60 straps so far and have completed two masks ready for distribution. The machines are pretty much running around the clock.



Hospital Face Shields & Mask Straps

Jason Drucker is seen wearing a mask prototype.


Mr. Kris Einck