Education Matters: Students at home are making hospital face shields

Education

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – CTEC, a charter high school operated by the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, was one of the first to produce face shields for local hospitals.

But despite the ongoing school closure, it is still possible for students to get that hands-on experience.

For the past five weeks, the staff at CTEC High School has been producing face shields that are now going out to every hospital in Madera and Fresno.

“The thought was we were only going to get about 50 out a day, said CTEC director Jonathan Delano. “Here we are printing about 1,500 a week.”

When they first started this project, students weren’t able to help with the actual hands-on work of producing the face shields because they were learning from home. But when CTEC added more 3D printers to their fleet, the staff decided to send the equipment home with their students.

Students worked hand in hand with their instructors on the mask design, so all they needed were the machines to print them.

Officials say they are not surprised their students can tackle this work independently. CTEC is a charter school that offers dual enrollment: along with rigorous coursework, students must also give back to their community.

“Creating all the face shields and all the work that we are doing to support our local hospitals,” said Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Jim Yovino. “On top of that, our kids are doing all their coursework. They are completing college credit while doing this and giving back to the community. That’s really what this school was designed to do.”

The coronavirus pandemic is causing schools to think outside the box when it comes to providing students with an educational experience and CTEC is embracing the challenge. So far, CTEC has produced over 2,500 face shields. Officials say they are now getting requests from urgent care centers, dentist offices, and schools.

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