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Henninger Students Create Face Masks in COVID-Themed Lesson

Freshmen in the Henninger Health Careers P-TECH program recently completed a timely project: learning about the importance of mask wearing in this time of COVID. As part of their virtual Summer Bridge program, the students also learned about the science behind wearing a mask. Each student was provided with a mask making kit at home, and to complete the project, each sewed their own mask.
“As we transition back to school, we thought that having the students do a project that was current and relevant to what was happening in our country would be a worthwhile project,” Clinical Laboratory Technology P-TECH Instructor Janet Clark explained. “Being in a health career pathway, we hoped to educate our students to become informed advocates for their families and friends in order to stop the spread of COVID.”
As part of the project, students read three articles surrounding COVID and watched related videos on how to properly wear face masks. They were also tasked with writing a letter to a family member or friend to explain the importance of wearing a mask during this time.
Cosmo Kessler already had significant background knowledge about COVID, as well as medical knowledge, coming into the project: his mom is a nurse. But, he said that the project likely helped any classmates who may have been hesitant about mask wearing to change their tune.
Through his research, Cosmo discovered the importance of wearing a mask so it covers both the mouth and nose. He found that the hair and fluid in our nasal passages, intended to protect us against infectious diseases, can also hold more respiratory droplets – therefore having the potential to spread more respiratory droplets than droplets coming from the mouth.
“The whole purpose of wearing a mask is so that we can limit the spread of respiratory droplets; so it really just defeats the purpose of wearing a mask if you are just going to wear it over your mouth and not your nose,” Cosmo explained. “I found this very important, because a lot of people who wear masks in public only wear them over their mouths and nobody thinks that it matters.”
Cosmo said that in addition to this practical medical knowledge, he also learned a helpful new skill: sewing!
“Regarding the project itself, my favorite part was the sewing,” he added. “I am terrible at sewing. But we were required to sew the pieces of mask together at the base and edges. I taught myself how to sew by doing this, so I thought it was very cool.”
We are proud of these Henninger P-TECH students for serving as examples in their families and community about the importance of following health and safety guidelines in this time of COVID!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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