C-R students' creativity helps protect workers

C-R students' creativity helps protect workers
This is the image for the news article titled C-R students' creativity helps protect workers Two Cobleskill-Richmondville High School students are using their technology education to help healthcare workers from Schoharie County to New York City stay safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The students, Andrew Mummenthey and Scott Scibek, have been working with technology teacher Anthony Esposito to manufacture hundreds of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) using 3D printers. 

By June, the students had designed and printed more than 200 face shields and another 200 ear-saver straps for masks. The PPE has been distributed to local businesses, Cobleskill Regional Hospital and SUNY New Paltz, which is then sending the materials to New York City healthcare facilities.

“I am incredibly proud of these gentlemen and how dedicated they were to using their time away from the classroom for the greater good,” said Mr. Esposito, who noted that when he visits stores around town, he often sees employees wearing the PPE designed by his students. 

The students used their creativity and engineering skills to create the designs. The face shields and ear-saver straps are made from thermoplastics. For the face-shields, the students included rubber-band straps for securing them to the wearer’s head. Each face shield also is covered with a protective piece of overhead projector film, which can be torn off when it’s ready to be used. 

To print the PPE, the students used their own 3D printers, while Mr. Esposito worked with the classroom 3D printer, which the district acquired several years ago through a grant from Best Buy. The students are manufacturing the PPE on their own time, while also juggling school and work responsibilities. 

“It’s important to do this because I think we should chip in as much as possible while we can,” said Andrew, a junior at C-R High School. “Helping out and doing our part is necessary in order to stay on top of things. If we all do a little bit we can get out of these stressful times easier.” 

“My mother works at the ER,” explained Scott, a senior. “I want to do my best to make sure she's as safe as possible when working. It's also important to make sure hospitals have all the resources they need to save lives, because that's what they're there for. If we don't help our hospitals and make sure they're functioning safely and efficiently, how are they supposed to help anyone else?”

The students plan to continue manufacturing PPE for local businesses to use as they begin to reopen. 

“It’s been awesome to see how they kept technology education going in their own way, and it benefited the community,” Mr. Esposito said. “They both are dealing with learning from home, and they both have jobs, but not once did they stop cranking out parts.”