Smith prints optimism


Due to COVID-19, cities all around the world have been experiencing a tremendous shortage of protective equipment. Thanks to Mrs. Smith, Innovation Lab teacher at the Kesling Campus, La Porte Hospital is receiving much needed 3D printed face shields.

Smith has been working on this project since late March/early April. Smith presented her idea to Dr. Larson and LPMS principal Mrs. Krutz, and they decided that it was okay if Smith borrowed one of the Innovation Lab’s 3D printers. After that, Mr. Wilmsen went to La Porte Middle School/Kesling Intermediate to let Smith in to grab materials. Mr. Fettinger from LPHS and LPMS student Ian Bos also joined in to help so they could supply even more shields. 

Smith was set up with Darby Jackson from La Porte Hospital as a contact person to figure out the demand and set up a pick up time and location. 

Mitch Marhanka from Bye Mor heard about Smith’s determination, and the company offered to donate 40 boxes of transparency sheets that can be used as the face shield portion of the mask. This allows for each patient to have their own mask sheets be changed.

It is not just Smith alone on this task, her entire family has joined in to help produce shields. Each of them takes turns running the printer, changing filament, and whatever else needs to be done. This means that altogether, this project is a combined effort of 10 people.

Each Thursday Smith and her team meet at LPHS to give the school the masks. Then once they have enough, a contact from the La Porte Fire Department takes the PPE to the hospital.

Despite the nerve wracking time the world is experiencing, Smith is trying to keep a positive perspective on the whole situation.

“Anything that happens like this is very unsettling when we have to change our way of life. It makes us uncomfortable, and we often feel helpless in what can be done. This is the perfect time to reevaluate what we spend our time doing and what is really important,” Smith said, “This is a time to think about others and what we can do to help protect everyone in our community.”

The masks are not up for sale and are distributed directly to the hospital. It is strictly a donation of materials and time. If there is another organization that is in need of medical masks can contact Smith at [email protected]

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