Eric Roy, technical coordinator for the Saint Michael’s College MakerSpace in Dion Family Student Center, said that just before the Spring Break commenced, a flurry of activity launched in the “Maker Community” nationally to leverage Urban Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping tools to respond to the rapid increase in need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical tools. Eric said Vermont was one of many states that found increased challenges with the traditional supply chains and access to the resources that officials anticipated needing to respond to the pandemic. Responding to that challenge, Generator, the Burlington Community Makerspace, worked with an array of partners and community leaders “to spin up a cohort of local level producers to make Face Shields and Intubation Boxes for University of Vermont Medical Center,” he said. For Eric, that presented an opportunity to utilize the Saint Michael’s MOVE program’s volunteer program offered to employees through the Wellbeing Collaborative. Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) offers up to 40 hours of paid volunteer time annually to qualified faculty and staff for volunteering locally or through one of the many annual service trips. This program was developed to further the College’s goals of investing in the community and bolstering the Saint Michael’s tradition of service. Through that MOVE opportunity provided by the College, Eric said he has been aiding Generator to temporarily increase their 3D printing fleet from two to eleven machines. These Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers are being run around the clock to produce the headbands for Face Shields worn over other PPE.
(posted June 2020)
Barbara O’Donovan, instructor of engineering and mathematics & statistics/engineering Program coordinator, and Eric Roy from the College’s MakerSpace began collaborating on a creative solution for the Introduction to Electronics exercise that had been planned for O’Donovan’s students in EG 100 Introduction to Engineering, after the abrupt pandemic transition took place in early March and many educators were confronted with the need to translate their lessons and plans to the “remote learning” landscape. Many realized that while learning objectives would remain the same, instructors would have to develop new approaches to the delivery of this content. Unsure if students would be returning this semester, they began planning a vision of the assignment that could be shipped out to students with the thought that by leveraging conferencing software, students could still collaborate in cohorts while following the augmented lesson plan. So the two prepared packages in the MakerSpace to send to her remote-learning electronics students.
(posted June 2020)