Although students have not yet gotten to walk down the shiny new halls and benefit from the state-of-art classrooms/labs at the new Wayne County Area Technology Center (ATC), there is already work being produced. In fact, the school is already providing a valuable service to local medical personnel during the pandemic.
In the weeks since the school system shut down and students have been in the midst of Non-Traditional Instructional days, the ATC staff has been moving across campus to their brand new site, located just behind the Wayne County High School. It all began the first week of the school closing. While not yet settled in and some of the construction still being finished up, Wayne County School employees jumped into action and have already made use of their new 3D printing lab. They were inspired by the COVID-19 outbreak to try and be of assistance to the local community.
Wayne County School personnel have been dreaming of the new facility after many hours of researching, planning and designing the future for student instruction which focuses more on developing skills to meet local employment and trade opportunities. The wave of possibilities in the field of 3D printing has probably been at the top of the list. But, never did local educators imagine it would be launched in such a way.
Fortunately with the expertise of an innovative teacher, the school technology staff, and help from the Wayne County ATC principal – the project was born and has been underway on a daily basis. Hundreds of face shields, along with the headbands and small tie down releases to adjust the fit, have been produced so far to be distributed to emergency workers, doctors’ offices and the local hospital.
“It is such a relief to me to know we have the technology in our county to be able to help us produce needed Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE),” said Emergency Medical Services Director Bubby Corder. “You just can’t find PPE online, or if you do it has been so price gouged.”
“It is so good that our school system has offered to do this for us. It takes the stress off of us, knowing the school district has got our backs. That’s what it is all about…helping each other.”
“It is wonderful that we have an administration that is so willing to work with us,” said Corder. “Wayne Roberts called and offered to help, if we could use any of the school district’s resources.”
Corder praised Wayne County High School Teacher Marsha Bertram’s foresight to try and help by trying to duplicate the badly needed plastic masks.
“During the first week of our school closing for COVID 19 there was a lot happening at school even though the students weren't there,” recalled Wayne County High School
Technology Instructor/Digital Learning Coach Marsha Bertram.
She was given the task of moving from her room in the high school to her new room at the Area Technology Center. While this move was occurring, she received a forwarded email from John Kinnett, Principal at the Area Technology Center. Kinnett had received a call to action from the Kentucky Department of Education Career and Technology Education Center. If schools had 3D printers, they were asked to begin producing reusable masks.
So, Bertram switched gears from setting up her classroom to setting up the 3D printing lab which is attached to the new classroom, located on the second floor. With help from school personnel and her family members, the lab was set up with 13 functional 3D printers in one afternoon. The next morning, Nathan Foster, Wayne County School Technology Specialist, helped her set up the software and begin mask production. EMS Director Bubby Corder came by to see if the masks would be useful and gave the go ahead to produce.
Wayne County School Technology Director Johnny Chaplin ordered any and all supplies needed for mass production. Sadly, after production of about 100 plastic breathing masks, they were deemed not to be the best answer by heath officials so production ceased. Apparently, they feared the non-flexible plastic might not seal tight enough to meet the specific safety guidelines.
During spring break, Corder again approached the school system through Johnny Chaplin and asked that face shields be produced. Due to the school district’s working relationship with Somerset Community College Additive Manufacturing Lab, they were able to get the files used by that lab to produce these face shields.
Bertram again came in and with help from Nathan Foster, the files were installed and the printers were put to use once more. The 3D lab can produce around 48 face shields in a 24 hour period.
After the headband and tie down adjustment pieces were made, Kinnett and Foster used a drill press in the new carpentry lab to make holes in the clear transparency sheets so they could be attached. Corder was delighted with the finished product.
“Mr. John Kinnett and Mr. Nathan Foster have been instrumental in producing these face shields on a daily basis,” noted Bertram. Due to her status as a cancer survivor and because she is currently taking chemotherapy, she has remained healthy at home. She is only coming in if needed for troubleshooting.
Wayne County School system is “Cardinal Proud” to have produced hundreds of face shields and continues to produce and fill local needs.
Face shield mask made at ATC
Asst. EMS/EM Director Dewayne Perkins held one of the many boxes filled with Wayne County ATC face shields made at the new facility to be distributed to medical personnel in the community.
Wayne County School Technology Specialist Nathan Foster modeled one of the finished face shields made in the new ATC 3D Printing lab.
ATC Principal John Kinnett and Wayne County Schools Technology Technician Nathan Foster check out the face shield headbands being produced in the new lab as they attached a face shield.
Technology Specialist Nathan Foster got a double headband off the printer and snapped it apart to make twice the amount being donated to assist local medical personnel on the front line of the pandemic.
One of the dozen MakerBot Replicators located in a lab connected to the Technology Classroom at the new ATC.
A view of a headband being made from above showing the inside of the 3D printer after a program was filed to make the pattern.A box filled with headbands made from different colored rolls of filament in the lab
One wall of the 3D printers in the new lab adjacent to the technology classroom filled with computer stations so students can design programs for custom projects.
Kinnett shows how to take a rubber band and use the plastic ribbon attachment made in the lab to help it fit properly.
Headband and plastic produced to serve as a buckle to adjust elastic
Technology Specialist Nathan Foster checked on the progress of the project on the 3D printers.
ATC Principal Kinnett used a drill press in the carpentry lab to make uniform holes in the laminated sheets that are used to make the face shields.
A plastic gauge was created in the lab to align the holes along the top of the face shield,