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iSchool Virtual Academy of Texas (iSVA) junior Adam Uszynski is working overtime on his household 3-D printer, to print and donate 1,000 face shields to medical professionals. Uszynski’s story of printing and donating personal protective equipment (PPE) began two years ago when illness led him to enroll at the ResponsiveEd free public online school, iSchool Virtual Academy (iSVA). At iSVA Uszynski was able to complete all of his required coursework at home and advance to 11th grade while recovering from illness. This year, despite being fully recovered, Uszynski’s life has again been impacted by illness. As COVID-19 spread and doctors like Uszynski’s father were asked to extend the use of PPE, a family discussion sparked an idea.

“Because of this (discussion), my dad and I started researching how to make face masks and face shields with the help of a 3D printer,” Uszynski recounted. “At first I was printing masks for my dad’s hospital and local medical workers, but after collaborating with a Facebook Group called Amarillo Makes PPE we were able to get our PPE officially approved for wider use.”

Uszynski has already printed 150 face shields but has a goal of more than 1,000. To help the family offset costs and achieve their goal, a GoFundMe campaign has been created to support their effort. 

In addition to printing PPE, Uszynski recently joined an area youth task force of young men and women interested in medicine. In the coming weeks, the group plans to discuss pandemics, statistical methods to evaluate the spread of illness, and the process of developing treatments and vaccines during a viral outbreak. Like other students, COVID-19 has negatively impacted his plans to attend pre-college events and participate in an internship with NASA. Despite the negatives, Uszynski feels fortunate overall.

“I have experienced some disappointments due to the pandemic, but I am grateful that my family and I are healthy,” Uszynski said. “I know that if we all do our part, we will flatten the curve and overcome this challenge.”

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