EASTON — Matthew Svehla, an eighth-grader at Easton Middle School, has turned worry into motivation, using his experience with 3D printers to create N95 masks.

Matthew’s mother Melissa Svehla is the cardiovascular services manager at Shore Regional Health System, and his father is a police officer. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic increased in the community, Matthew became concerned that his parents and their coworkers would run out of N95 masks during the crisis and be at higher risk for contracting the virus.

Matthew researched online and learned that N95 masks could be made from 3D printers. Having used the printers in his gifted and talented classes and on his Destination Imagination team at Easton Elementary School, Matthew knew that Talbot County Public Schools had a couple of them. He reached out to Superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith by email to ask if he could borrow one of the printers to make some of the much needed masks.

Matthew and his mother picked up the printer at the Talbot County Education Center on Thursday, April 9. Since then, he has been working diligently on this project.

“Each mask takes 10 hours to make,” Melissa Svehla wrote in an update to Griffith. “We have distributed some of the masks to the hospital and police departments, and Matthew is so excited about the quality of them. Thank you so much for allowing this to happen.”

“I am so proud of Matthew for taking the initiative to be innovative with his thinking during this crisis,” Dr. Griffith said, “and his concern for his parents was truly touching.”

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