KRISTIN BLOUGH uses the 3-D printer in Cairo High School’s math department to print face shield parts for healthcare workers. The printed shield will attach to a headband and an overhead transparency sheet.
Cairo High School is using its 3D printer to continue to contribute to the safety of healthcare workers. Math teacher Kristin Blough says the specialized printer is producing parts for face shields that are being used by doctors and nurses around the state.
“With the permission of C.H.S. and Mr. Chris Lokey (principal), I have been able to use the Math Department’s 3D printer and supplies to print the face shields. The printed shield will attach to a headband and an overhead transparency sheet,” says Blough. “I have been collaborating with a group from Thomas County Schools, but more people have joined.”
Face shields are personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) devices used by healthcare workers for protection as they work with patients. Face shields are generally used in conjunction with other protective equipment such as disposable masks as an important second layer of protection, especially when treating infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
“It has been an honor to be able to join this community effort in providing much needed protective equipment to help those in the medical field,” says Blough.
The C.H.S. 3D printer can produce 10 shield parts in just under 14 hours. “I try to keep it running as often as I can. So, as long as there are no issues with the machine, I aim to print at least 60 a week,” she says.
So far, she has made between 200 and 250 of the pieces. “The printed shield will attach to a headband and an overhead transparency sheet,” Blough explains. The sheets are the clear transparencies used with overhead projectors.
Other collaborators working on the project include Will Hanna, Ashley Palmer, Tammy Sharpe, Matt Casper, Wes Sampson, Michelle Dechman, and Austin Davis of Thomas County Schools, Robyne Woods of Pelham High School, and Ralph Griffith of Southern Regional Technical College. Several individuals in the Southwest Georgia community are also joining the effort, including Brandon Ray, Ryan Jorge, Dan Bellamy, and Kendra Burrus.
In the past month, the group has provided shields to Archbold Medical Center, doctors’ offices, and the Department of Health in Thomas County as well as facilities in Atlanta, Augusta, and Mississippi.
Thomas County Schools’ Technology Teacher Ashley Palmer says that the group may use their collective technology to provide other equipment as well. “We’ve discussed pivoting into other 3D prints besides Face Shields. We’ll keep a close watch as to the needs,” he said. “Our type of 3D printing is just a stop-gap and could never serve as a permanent solution. Still, we’re grateful to help.”
Organizations or individuals interested in receiving shields or assisting with the group’s effort may contact Ashley Palmer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org