Remember Those Sixth Graders Who Made Masks and Gowns for Health Care Workers? We Could Use Their Help Right Now.

Two weeks ago, we told you about a group of Tiburon middle schoolers who created masks and protective gowns with 3D printers as part of a class project. It was what we here at CalSchoolNews call a “feel good story.” We didn’t really expect their creations to be used in the fight against coronavirus (county health officials said all wear must go through a rigorous approval process by the CDC), but we appreciated the gesture and the emphasis on STEM education. 

All that has changed. As COVID-19 cases mount, U.S. health care workers are facing a critical shortage of NC95 masks. In a CDC advisory issued yesterday, officials encouraged doctors and nurses to create their own out of scarves or bandanas as a last resort. According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, health care professionals have visited L.A.’s garment district in search of people to sew makeshift masks and gowns. They’re relying on materials from Home Depot and arts and crafts stores. 

The Del Mar Middle School project suddenly looks more prescient than precious.