Harmony educators 3D print COVID-19 face shields for health workers

The COVID-19 outbreak has put the heroics of countless educators on display across the country.
However, one team of educators in southwest Houston have found a way to use their unique talents and the school’s cutting-edge classroom technology to help address a critical need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mehmet Gokcek and his team of educational engineers who work at the Harmony Public Schools “Innovation Lab” in Southwest Houston have spent the school system’s COVID-19 closure hard at work inside the lab, 3D-printing medical face shields to help alleviate the shortage of supplies experienced by health care workers across the region.

Each shield takes roughly five hours to manufacture and only costs about $1 in materials.

By the end of the week, Gokcek believes his team can have roughly 40 shields printed. The supplies necessary to print many more shields are inbound and with the design perfected, additional printing should go swiftly.

To help ramp up production, Harmony is seeking financial and/or material donations. The school specifically needs PTEG filament for 3D-printing the shields’ head mount, and .02-.03 inches thick PTEF transparent sheets used for the shields’ face covering. In recent weeks, the Texas Education Agency and various city governments also have asked for schools and individuals capable of aiding the supply shortage to do so, and called for donors to consider supporting institutions capable of helping meet their community’s needs.

The team is working with Harris County health officials to arrange a donation of the shields while they continue to be manufactured inside the school’s lab. Harmony, a statewide public charter school with 58 campuses in more than 20 Texas cities, will next expand this community service project to other regions by training its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) teachers in other communities to create the shields.

How to Help

Harmony Public Schools is accepting donations of raw plastic materials at its Innovation Lab, located at 9303 W Sam Houston Parkway S., Suite 100, Houston, TX, 77099. They are in need of PTEG filament for 3D printers, and PTEF transparent sheets in 0.02 inches or 0.03 inches thick. They also are accepting donations made out to Harmony Public Schools, which can be mailed to 9321 W Sam Houston Parkway S., Houston, TX, 77009.

Harmony Public Schools is a statewide system of free, PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous STEM-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life.

About Harmony Public Schools
At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

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