The world has changed a great deal since our time together at the 2019 Summer Leadership Conference. The theme for that conference was "Collective Impact," and one of the things we highlighted was the critical role that ESAs often have within their communities. ESAs are in a perfect position to make a positive change on social issues. That has never been truer than it is today.
One AESA member, CSIU in Pennsylvania, is making an impact and they invite you to join in.
They worked with schools in their region, leading a big part of an effort to make personal protective equipment (PPE) using 3D printers that are otherwise sitting idle in schools. They invite your ESA to get involved!
According to Jeffrey C. Kay, Special Projects Technology Manager, CSIU, they went from prototype to production of protective devices in less than 48 hours. Right now, the 3D printers are used to print headbands for face shields and masks. As this article is being written, doctors and universities in their region are working around the clock to develop an N95 Respirator that can be 3D printed. Once the final design is tested and approved, it will take three to four hours to print one respirator. 3D printers are needed to produce these items as quickly as possible!
“The ideal plan would be for ESAs to replicate what we are trying to do here, that way they can help places in their own back yard,” said Kay.
“The biggest thing needed to get this started in your ESA (other than the printers) is to assign someone that will handle all of the logistics and communication between the people who need the equipment and your team of printers,” he said.
According to Kay, many local organizations are in need, such as nursing homes, home
health, emergency responders, even service industries such as restaurants and grocery
stores who have limited or no PPE equipment.
We are in a race against time.
If you are willing to participate in this national effort, Kay is willing to provide information to get you started. Please reach out to the schools in your region to coordinate the work with the 3D printers and local healthcare systems to meet the needs of your region.
AESA and the National Association of Media and Technology Centers (NAMTC) are working together to support this effort.
If your ESA wants more information on how to get started contact Geoff Craven, NAMTC at