WNY STEM Hub, a regional nonprofit offering one-of-a-kind STEM learning experiences, has found a perfect way to help the region during the COVID 19 pandemic. While unable to directly supply DIY masks to individuals and organizations, WNY STEM Hub knew that the collective energy, knowledge, and experience of their hundreds of supporters, friends and learning partners could fill a great need at this time by mobilizing DIY face mask production.
In March, after receiving word from the Public Safety Command Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RCPI) that they needed washable, hand-sewn masks to supply staff working in outpatient and non-emergency roles, WNY STEM Hub immediately mobilized DIY makers and directed them to medical facilities in need of donations of homemade masks and shields.
Next, WNY STEM Hub asked medical facilities needing masks to contact them—posted mask-making tutorials on their website–and coordinated it from there. Then, WNY STEM Hub helped medical facilities needing face shields by mobilizing makers with 3-D printing machines.
And now, WNY STEM Hub is listed as a coordinating contact with the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and the Niagara County Health Department Emergency Preparedness Division. When requests for donated face masks/shields are received, WNY Stem Hub springs into action and notifies its supporters. For more information—or to help out–please contact WNY STEM Hub.
Read our blog posts about how to sew a facemask and how to make a personal facemask without a sewing machine:
WNY STEM Hub is unable to directly supply DIY masks to individuals. Our purpose is to mobilize and inform DIY makers regarding medical facilities accepting homemade donations of masks and shields. Individuals wishing to use our posted resources to make masks for personal use are encouraged to do so.
This is a public service to mobilize our community of makers in WNY. Please be aware that careful fabrication should produce masks that are CDC compliant. However, WNY STEM Hub does not assume responsibility for donated products that fail to meet n95 standards.