Chelmsford Public Schools (CPS) engineering teacher, David Steeves, has contributed 100 face shields for healthcare workers in area hospitals using 3D printing technology. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mass STEM Hub called upon area school districts to help. Mr. Steeves immediately jumped on board.
“It was heartbreaking to see the suffering of those afflicted with COVID-19 and the struggles of front-line healthcare workers dealing with PPE shortages,” said Mr. Steeves. “Fortuitously, CPS offers Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses which provided me the opportunity to help using the technology included in the curriculum.”
Mass STEM Hub had coordinated the efforts of several schools with 3D printers to collect and share a variety of design options with teachers willing to print and optimize the designs for their specific printer. To design the face shields to be compatible with his 3D printer, Mr. Steeves utilized Fusion 360. The CAD/CAM software connects the entire product design & development process in a single tool. All of the face shield designs submitted by schools have been approved as viable options for use in the healthcare industry. The filament for the face shields was reimbursed by Mass STEM Hub.
Always engaged in teaching, Mr. Steeves introduced his high school Engineering Design students to the project by reviewing the design options and technology remotely where students were able to ask questions on how the processes work and collaborate on a solution. “I would like to thank Dr. Jay Lang, Dr. Linda Hirsh, Mr. William Silver and Dr. Marilyn Sweeney for their vision and support for these courses and the difference they make in the lives of our students as well as those outside of Chelmsford,” stated Steeves.
Moving forward the technology will be used to create face shields for the Chelmsford Public School District school nurses. Mr. Steeves will be 3D printing enough for 14 nurses and a few extras to be utilized by substitute nurses. The cost of the face shields will be absorbed by the school district.
Chelmsford Public Schools offers Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses in all district schools through Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Mass STEM Hub’s first initiative intended to increase access to k-12 computer science, biomedical science and engineering curriculum.
The Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering Design Process is taught by Mr. Steeves to Chelmsford High School students who enroll in the Introduction to Engineering Design course. Students learn about 3D printing technology and are challenged with projects.
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit chelmsfordschools.org.