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GDS science teacher helps local effort

Gaston Day Upper School Science Teacher, Wade Glaser, joined a Charlotte effort to support the #MillionMaskChallenge. The #MillionMaskChallenge is a global sew-a-thon of face masks aimed at helping healthcare workers and those in need. The local effort was spearheaded by area private school, Charlotte Latin, and a city-wide network of Charlotte makers and printers including UNCC.

The group, known as Charlotte MEDI in the Charlotte community, helps local hospitals by making face shields during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of makers initially hoped to produce over 1,000 face shields. They started with a design made by Prusa, a company that makes 3D printers and designs for 3D printers. After a few days of minor modifications, they were able to prototype the first few dozen and get them in the hands of doctors at Atrium Health.

By using 3D printers, Gaston Day School’s Glaser printed over 150 parts, 14 complete masks (2 parts each) and 140 smaller reinforcement parts that were running low. Glaser said, “I’m glad I was able to be a part of such an amazing effort. Much of the credit goes to the leaders at Charlotte Latin and UNCC, as well as to the local maker community that developed this idea of beginning with a model and to go from 3D printing to mass production in such a short time frame.”

As they continued to refine the process, the goal has grown to print 1,000 masks per week using the community network of volunteers and 3D printers. They are now also working with manufacturing companies to help take this to the next level and produce over 10,000 a week. Hospitals may go online at www.charlottemedi.org and fill out a form to receive more shields.

Charlotte MEDI hopes that the face shield shortage will be eliminated through their efforts and the help of other organizations throughout the country. The group has already started talking about other types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that they could produce that are currently in short supply.

Gaston day story/photos