Powell Clark ’18 started an internship on March 19 at MakerMask, just days before Governor Jay Inslee issued the stay-at-home order. MakerMask is a non-profit based in Seattle, with a platform that allows any person to download directions to 3D print protective face masks. The company wanted to print more masks than they had equipment for when global supply chains were interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. So, Powell reached out to Director of Technology Ethan Delavan to see if The Bush School had 3D printers they could share.
MakerMask is founded on the principle of resource-sharing, an act that was emulated by Bush’s Technology office. Ethan reflected on the ability to share our equipment in a time of need: “It was neat to be able to shift our technical resources to a new project when we couldn’t host on-campus classes. It really helped us fulfill the public purpose of our independent mission.”
Powell felt the power of his community to make change and was inspired by the enthusiasm to donate and participate in this effort: “MakerMask showed me that I could help drive change to address seemingly impossible problems. The blend of tech and innovation at our production sites inspired me to think creatively while working hard. I was pleasantly surprised to see Seattle schools come together and donate printers to ease the demand for PPE at a time when it was needed most.”
As a result of local press and recognition from the National Institute of Health, MakerMask is more fully staffed and equipped. They are no longer in need of the Bush-owned 3D printer, and we were able to be there in a critical moment to help get this project off the ground. Ethan shares, “It was a real honor to help them kickstart something truly beneficial to so many.”