From gloves and gowns to 3D-printed face shields, Branksome makes a difference
Launching “Virtual Branksome,” the school’s first-ever distance-learning program, was only one item on Branksome Hall’s “to do” list last week.
Thanks to efforts from our facilities team, health centre, faculty and staff, the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation also received our shipment of more than 20 boxes of gloves, masks and disposable isolation gowns. These were collected in support of its one-week community drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. Facilities Manager Dejnis Hysenaj delivered the supplies to the drop-off depot at Michael Garron Hospital on Friday, March 27.
“During a week when we have launched a virtual school, it is wonderful to also be making a difference beyond our walls in the broader community,” says Head, Talent Management, Patricia DiNicolantonio, who coordinated the drive.
Others involved included facilities director Janet Pehlivanyan, science teachers Deepa Raj and Julia White, art teacher Sam Koscec, school nurse Sage Kavander and boarding staff Kianna Samuel-George.
Now, with a surge of patients still expected, the call for PPE also includes a request that community members with 3D printers use a blueprint provided on the PPE Drive website to manufacture and deliver visors for protective face shields.
The call isn’t that unusual, explains Meera Balendran, STEAM technologist for the Middle and Senior Division, who is working with Donn Pasiliao, Technology Experience Designer and Coordinator, to coordinate Branksome’s contribution to the effort. The two are arranging to pick up the two 3D printers from the iHub at the Middle School, and then will work from home on an inventory Pasiliao expects could be “significant,” using just a prescribed kind of common household plastic.
“The great thing about 3D printing is that the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can produce,” explains Balendran. “You can start with nothing and create something. Hospitals are even using them to have prosthetic limbs printed on site.”
The duo is also reaching out to students who may have a 3D printer at home, in order to coordinate additional efforts on behalf of the hospital network.