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Dysart schools 3D-printing mask guards for workers battling virus

(Dysart Unified School District Photo)

PHOENIX – Schools in the Dysart Unified School District are putting idle 3D printers to work to help health care workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools are using their 3D printers to create surgical mask ear guards since the school year ended early in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“With the 3D printers available and not being used, we figured it’s a great opportunity to fire them up and to start printing as many as we possibly could so we could help our health care providers in our community,” Dysart School Superintendent Quinn Kellis said in a video released by the district.

The idea came from Quinn Callander, a boy scout in Canada, who wanted to help health care workers.

Since then, there’s been a push on social media for people to step up and use their 3D printers to help frontline workers.

The ear guards help alleviate the strain that face masks put on the ears after hours of continuous wear.

Nurses in the school district are helping to disperse the ear guards to local hospitals, senior living facilities, pediatric offices, urgent care and rehabilitation centers in the Northwest Valley that have requested the product.

“To get this call and to have these brought to us is really, really a blessing to us,” Sylvia Mulshine, Mariposa Point of Surprise Assisted Living Facility Executive Director, said.

“It’s such a small thing and it’s going to do such a big thing for the associates that will be able to put these on and protect their ears from the wear and tear.”

Dysart’s original goal was to produce 1,000 ear guards. After seeing how well the project was received, the goal was doubled to help the community even more.

The school district also helped frontline workers in March by donating medical supplies like gloves, masks and wipes to the El Mirage and Surprise fire departments from Dysart’s Career and Technical Education Department.


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