Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began impacting Minnesota, students at KMS Public Schools started sewing face masks and printing 3D ear protectors for healthcare workers in their community. As of this week, the count had reached 100 with supplies distributed in the past week for up to 300.
It all started on March 19 when Superintendent Martin Heidelburger was walking down the halls and he ran into high school history teacher, Chris Pappadackis. They had a quick conversation that inspired Heidelburger.
He contacted the high school’s Family and Consumer Science teacher Nicole Gleason to ask if she had ever made a protective face mask before. She had just made four that weekend for a local friend who worked in an area of healthcare that had given its masks to frontline workers.
He then asked her how many sewing machines she had. Twenty-five. And how many students she was working with. Nineteen.
Gleason went to work teaching each of her 8th grade students how to make masks. The staff of KMS Public Schools began gathering supplies to make it possible to make masks.
Heidelburger announced during a weekly staff meeting that he had a goal of every student in the FACS class making 10 masks a week. This would enable the school district to provide a total 190 masks weekly for the local healthcare community.
The project has been named Saints Support the Effort. High school students who have taken the textile class in the past also have asked to help. The effort has expanded to also include students in the CADD/Research and Development classes. They producing 3D printed ear protectors.
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