King's Worcester

2 April

Head of DT produces masks to support local NHS

Head of Design and Technology, Mr Wilson, has been using his skills to help support local NHS surgeries by creating masks to help protect front line staff.

Mr Wilson, reviewed what was being offered by other Design and Technology teachers and created his own mask from supplies he could easily access.

Mr Wilson added, “I saw that many Design and Technology teachers were sharing 3D printer files for the production of masks. There are few schools in the UK which have 3D printers that are designed for quantity production. Such printers are prototyping machines, used for proving design ideas before the money is spent on moulding for mass-produced parts.  For me, 3D printing was not the best solution.  It would take 3 or 4 hours to make a single mask (which might end up being single-use and thrown away) and many suppliers have sold out of the materials needed due to a surge in demand.”

The creation of these masks follows the request from a Practice Manager of a local GP Medical Centre, who requested if the school could donate any safety specs.

Mr Wilson added “I applied a bit of problem-solving to the task, and developed a way of turning safety specs into masks.  I have posted the process in various national and international Design and Technology Facebook groups because I felt that many teachers who might be unable to 3D print or laser cut masks for one reason or another, might like to copy the design.  The response has been enormous! The masks aren’t pretty, but that’s not in the brief.  They function well, and are easily washable.”

After delivering 28 masks to the surgery on Wednesday, Mr Wilson is now starting day two of production at school, creating another 32 masks for distribution across Worcester.  This approach is a perfect example of where Design and Technology comes to the fore. It provides a genuine example of what pupils are learning daily in lessons. Design problem, brief, client requirement, research, product analysis, user group, design, prototyping, production and evaluation.