College of the Canyons Produces & Donates Thousands of Face Shields
Gretchen Schultz, Director of Workforce Development, Tooling U-SME on
October 13, 2020
We love hearing inspiring stories from our customers. Today, we are sharing
the important work of our colleagues at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, who filled an urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MakerSpace Fills PPE Void
In March, with coronavirus spreading in Santa Clarita Valley, hospitals
were scrambling to procure valuable PPE, including face shields.
Local nonprofit STEMbassadors,
a regional program supported through College of the Canyons, quickly
stepped in to help by engaging their tech-savvy middle and high school
students to manufacture face shields. Working from an open-source design,
the students began producing 30 to 40 face shields per day using 3D
printers at home.
Michael J. Bastine, Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing, hosted by
College of the Canyons said, “When I heard about our STEMbassadors program,
I knew we could use our college’s MakerSpace to produce critical face shield equipment for our local healthcare
Under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, the College of
the Canyons team included Bastine; Harriet Happel, Dean, Career Technical
Education and Integrative Learning; Christopher Walker, MakerSpace
Laboratory Technician; Jeffrey Forrest, Vice President of Economic and
Workforce Development; and Irene Ornelas, Regional Director, Health Sector,
who identified and coordinated the medical needs.
Each face shield took three and a half hours to make. After 10 days of
running the center’s six 3D printers around-the-clock, MakerSpace assembled
150 face shields, which were delivered to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in April.
Marlee Lauffer, president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation and
vice president of marketing and communications for the hospital, said in a
news release, “We are very grateful to College of the Canyons for these
face shields. In today’s environment, it’s impossible to have too much PPE.
Our entire staff, and especially our frontline healthcare workers, deeply
appreciate COC’s resourcefulness and generosity.”
3D Printing Face Shields
The effort didn’t end there, however. As of the end of July, the MakerSpace
at College of the Canyons had produced more than 2,500 face shields for
area hospitals, organizations, and colleges for nursing and welding
students. Earlier this month, they donated 100 face shields to UCLA Health Santa Clarita. In addition, 200 face shields are held in
stock, prepared if cases spike again and more PPE is needed.
“If we can help prevent one transmission of COVID-19 or make just one
health care worker or emergency responder feel just a little bit safer
doing their job, we have achieved what we had hoped to do—to help others,”
said Walker, the technician who handled the production.
Bastine said fortunately the industry has caught up to the need.
“Early in the pandemic, it was tough to source needed materials such as
polypropylene so we had to adapt, and 3D printing provided a stop-gap
support system,” Bastine said. “Months later, industry has been able to
ramp up PPE production, using injection molding to produce thousands of
shields per day.”
With its MakerSpace at the Valencia campus, College of the Canyons could
quickly respond to the health crisis, tapping into its creativity and
expertise to support the local community.
This initiative shows the importance of partnerships throughout the
community that bring together healthcare institutions, educators,
nonprofits, industry, and other organizations.
Congratulations to College of the Canyons on this impressive effort and
their record of community involvement.