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Meet the College Freshman Helping Frontline Hospital Workers

The Future is Ms. is an ongoing series of news reports by young feminists. This series is made possible by a grant from in support of teen journalists and the series editor, Katina Paron.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise, so does the demand for personal protective equipment. 

Manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand to produce face shields, respirators or full-body suits—and that’s where Makers for COVID-19 comes in.

A group of worldwide volunteer 3D printer owners, Makers for COVID-19 combines technology, creativity and a sense of being part of the solution. And it happens to be run by a teenage girl.

In March, Karina Popovich first heard of an Italian company that 3D prints ventilators.

“That’s when I realized that it would be best to start a coalition of makers,” said Popovich, “where we could all come together and offer each other guidance and really educate the public to get more people making.”

A couple weeks later, Makers for COVID-19 delivered its first face shield to a local New York City nurse.

makers for covid-19
A group of nurses with faces shields made by the makers for COVID. (Courtesy of Karina Popovich)

Most of the members of Makers for COVID found Popovich through Reddit in a group that encourages people with 3D printers to print personal protective equipment. Working with Popovich allows members to focus on the manufacturing of PPE without worrying about fundraising or finding hospitals to donate to, says Mark Kwack, a member of Makers for COVID.

“Without Karina and the support of this group, I’m pretty sure I would produce a lot less,” he said.

makers for covid-19
A box of PPE ready to be dropped off. (Courtesy of Karina Popovich)

Here at Ms., our team is continuing to report through this global health crisis—doing what we can

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