Merion Station school using lab to create face shields for health care workers

MERION STATION, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- While schools around the country are closed, a classroom at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Merion Station remains open. Not to students, but a very select staff doing some very important work.

They are in the midst of production, a makeshift assembly line of face shields that will soon be helping those on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus.

"Took a little trial and error for us to figure out how to get that connected, but as you can see that's good to go," explained Stephanie Cole, one of the designers and wife of the educator at the school who came up with the idea.

Using the school's recently upgraded fabrication lab's 3D printers and laser cutters, Daniel Ostrov went to work on producing the shields that are being donated free of charge to those that need them most.

"We were both here and spent about 16 hours just prototyping and getting materials just for the initial prototype," Ostrov said.

The duo modified a Portuguese designer's initial design to produce the reusable shields.

Initially, a few hundred were made and given to the families of students who work in area hospitals.

Now, the orders have been coming in by the thousands.

''I've been getting requests from all the local Philadelphia hospitals as well as outside from hospital in NYC, hospitals in Michigan and Ohio," Cole said.

Fortunately, the couple made their design public and help from other local fabrication labs and the community has been in no short supply.

"There's about 15 to 20 organizations now," Cole added.

Head of school, Rabbi Doctor Gil Perl has also been assembling while also teaching students remotely. He said he knew they had something special when calls to the community for elastic exploded.

"I was going around picking up little bags of the stuff people were leaving on their doorsteps for me. By the time I got home there were bags on my porch," Perl said.

The group says the project has more than exceeded their expectations.

"Yeah it's been pretty incredible," Ostrov said.

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