More than a dozen students, teachers and staff of the Okaloosa STEMM Academy are combining innovation and technology to provide Personal Protective Equipment to healthcare workers and first responders, using the school’s 3D printers to supply face shields and mask adapters to their community.
Among the students is sixth-grader Landon Deason, who not only helped to print masks, but also designed a face mask adapter that has become particularly popular. The adapter eliminates the discomfort caused to the user’s ears when wearing masks for an extended period of time.
“It has been great to do what I can to help people not get the coronavirus,” said Deason. “Also, working on different problems with the 3-D printer has challenged me and given me something to do with my time.”
According to Okaloosa STEMM Academy Principal Scheree Martin, 385 face shields and 610 mask adapters have been manufactured and donated to local nursing homes, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, the Niceville Police Department, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Eglin Air Force base.
Okaloosa STEMM Academy students and teachers are also working with the HSU Foundation, Eglin Air Force Research Laboratory and the Doolittle Institute to fill larger orders of equipment needed in other areas throughout the county and beyond.
“I am so very proud of our STEMM Academy students and teachers who are able to put their technical skills to use in support of a such an important cause,” said Okaloosa County School Superintendent Marcus Chambers. “We expect Okaloosa students to have a positive impact on their community and their country, and this is an outstanding example of that."