LaurenHill Academy student steps up with special project for healthcare workers
While schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Grade 11 student at LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent has found an innovative way to assist healthcare workers on the frontlines.
Jonah Kontolemos has been working independently at home using a 3D printer to make ear savers, which protect the ears of healthcare workers from the elastics of medical masks. He has taken the initiative and is donating them to hospitals in the Montreal area.
“Jonah’s work highlights the values we embrace at LaurenHill and the work of our students in helping out the community during the pandemic,” said Vice-Principal Mireille Tehbelian.
With his dad Jason contacting hospitals and mom Marie doing some of the deliveries, the newly dubbed Canada Ear Savers has become a family affair by printing and donating ear savers for nurses and doctors. So far requests are being prepared or have gone out to the following six hospitals: Montreal Children’s, Jewish General, Santa Cabrini, Sacré Cœur, Lakeshore General, Ottawa and Jim Pattison Children’s in Saskatoon.
“I started the project around a week and a half ago when my dad brought the product to my attention when a family friend of ours expressed interest,” said Jonah. “Since I wanted to do whatever I could to help, I undertook the task with inspiration from Linus Tech Tips on YouTube, which is printing face shields.”
Jonah, 17, plans to attend Vanier College in St. Laurent next year in Pure and Applied Sciences. “Beyond that I could see myself becoming an engineer or a designer,” he says.
Little did Jonah know when he got a 3D printer kit (Creality Ender 3) for last Christmas how handy it would become during a pandemic nobody saw coming. “A large portion of the 3D printing community has shifted to making various objects that help hospital staff,” Jonah observes.
“Canada Ear Savers has produced 300 ear savers so far and we get them to hospitals either by post or drop-off depending on how close they are,” Jonah explains, noting that he is staying safe at home and encouraging everyone who can to do the same.
Jonah wishes to express thanks to the LaurenHill Academy faculty, including teacher Sarah Ditchfield, for their encouragement.
A special Facebook page has been launched at https://www.facebook.com/canadaearsavers.