PVNC secondary schools collaborate to manufacture PPE face shields for healthcare workers

Man working on Laser Cutter making plastic components

April 28, 2020

A PVNC collaboration between two secondary schools has produced a manufacturing project capable of making up to 500 much-needed protective face shields for local health care facilities.

The group completed its first successful batch this week and distributed face shields to the staff at Extendicare long-term care home in Cobourg.

The project is part of a collaboration between St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Cobourg and St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School in Bowmanville.

Both schools have vibrant manufacturing classrooms. When the government closed schools and issued a call for PPE equipment, the principals and technology teachers at both schools began to collaborate on a project to put the schools’ laser cutter technology to use and produce some much needed PPE in local communities.

The project hopes to support local hospitals and long-term care homes in Peterborough, Northumberland and Clarington.

“Our school communities are very proud of the efforts our technological studies staff have made to support our greater community. They heard the call and worked on a plan to meet it,” St. Mary CSS principal James Brake said.

“It is amazing to see the technology we put into the hands of students be used in such a way. As Catholic educators, it is also extremely rewarding to be able to act out the Gospel message in treating others as we would be treated ourselves.”

The project is currently moving to Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough to reduce travel time for those working on the equipment. Throughout the collaborative planning process and the current manufacturing process, school staff have been meeting via video conference and have been maintaining physical distancing at all times.

Photo Cutline:

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School technology teacher Joel Kightley works on a laser cutter to produce pieces of a protective face shield. The technology departments at St. Mary CSS in Cobourg and St. Stephen CSS in Bowmanville are collaborating to produce up to 500 PPE face shields to distribute to local hospitals and long-term care homes.