Williston Northampton School students are donating equipment and time to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Garrette Ondrick, a ninth grader from Westfield, has been manufacturing face shields in his home for health care workers. First using an Ender 3 brand 3D printer to make the headband, he then attaches clear, empty laminate “pouches,” that have been put through a laminator. He bought the printer last summer with money he received for his birthday.
It takes about two hours to make two headbands, which are printed in 1.75 millimeter polylactic acid. “I was able to do three at a time but my printer clogged up and stopped working, so I had to go back to go to two,” he said.
He’s made about 40 shields since he started producing them at the end of March, and has donated them to local hospitals.
“It feels great to help those who are helping others,” he said.
Brothers Alejandro and Alvaro Ruiz Boughton, a junior and sophomore, respectively, and their younger brother Adrian, from Mexico, are also making clear face shields for health care workers in public hospitals there. The trio have donated about 100 masks.
“It feels great working during these times and getting busy is something that can be healthy for anyone,” said Alejandro Ruiz Boughton. “It’s a good time to help out and use our time to make a difference.”
Rachel Goodman, a senior from Longmeadow, is coordinating an effort to raise money for meals for workers at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, dubbed Burgers and Beyond for Baystate.
“This is a perfect and support front-line workers and local restaurants,” Goodman said.
Those who want to donate can Venmo a contribution to @willistonburgers.
Children participating in online learning at home may need help with their mathematics assignments. Enter Nikhil Sierros of Florence, a junior at Williston Northampton School, who is offering free 30-minute math tutoring targeted to seventh through tenth graders.
“Math, specifically Algebra I and II, is a strength I have that I would love to share. By providing free tutoring to those that need it, I feel that I can bridge the gap between a classroom environment and a home environment in a one-on-one setting.”
Sierros will work with students over Zoom video conference during time he has set aside every day from 3:30 to 5 p.m. He’s been in touch with several school superintendents and is hoping to add pupils in the coming weeks.
“My primary objective is to try to put students at ease with math at a time when they could use less stress in their life,” he said. “Often, just talking through math problems not only clarifies the situation, but also results in realizations. I find that when my mind is at ease and relaxed, that is when I learn best. I am hoping to bring that feeling to my students so they can relax and feel confident that they will do well in math now, and even more importantly, be better prepared for next year’s math class.”
Information on how to sign up for tutoring is at Sierros’ website, asapmathtutoring.weebly.com.