March 2020 - Being sent back home from university like many other college students were, Karina Popovich wanted to do something to help healthcare workers. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Karina 3D-printed and donated 20 face shields to Mount Sinai Hospital in Brooklyn, NY to help with the widespread national personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages.
April 2020 - In an effort to encourage others to produce and donate PPE, Karina created a Slack community that would grow into the organization, Makers for COVID-19 (M4COVID). Within several days, more than 350 3D printer owners of all ages joined the community. It was here that they received access to start-up guides, matched with vetted medical workers requesting PPE for their facilities, reimbursed for material costs, and found themselves connected within a large supportive community of fellow Makers.
September 2020 - M4COVID expanded to a team of 20+ executives. Makers collectively donated extensively across the country, from San Diego to the Navajo Nation to New York City, and supported more than 250 medical facilities with PPE. By this time, Makers had produced a total of 82,000 face shields, fabric masks, and ear savers. Requests for PPE were also being fulfilled internationally, with projects in Kenya and Ghana being fulfilled.
October 2020 - Seeing the demand for PPE shift to smaller pockets across the United States, M4COVID launched a 6-month student Ambassador program to build a chapter network that could support their communities' needs. The goal was to empower students to make a difference just like Karina was able to by creating M4COVID. A total of 10 student teams were provided with resources that enabled them to produce 9,410 units of PPE.
March 2021 - Success of the first Ambassador cohort coupled with diminished PPE need led M4COVID to pivot towards establishing Makers for Change (M4C), a chapter network that empowers students to make a difference through their technical skills. M4C designed three tracks that would provide both high school and college students with resources to establish their own organizations while impacting their communities through the power of making.
How do I sign up?
You can apply for our program using this link. We are currently processing applications on a monthly basis! If you are not interested in applying now, you can stay in touch with us through our newsletter.
How many people within a team need to submit the application?
We ask that only the team lead, whether they are a teacher, mentor, or student, submit the M4C application on behalf of the entire team.
What is the program structure?
Upon your acceptance to M4C, we'll begin the onboarding process where you learn about the expectations asked of you from the organization and the individual project you'll be joining. In the weeks after, we'll enable you with the resources needed to start contributing to your community.
What types of projects do you currently offer?
We have three project options: Animal Prosthetics, 3D Printed Toys, and Laser Cutting
Can I do multiple projects?
At this time, we allow students to only participate in one project to guarantee a manageable workload. However, a chapter can participate in multiple projects by dedicating a "subteam" for each project. Each subteam must have different team members.
Do we have to purchase our own materials?
Yes, but we have a reimbursement system where you can submit your receipts for the materials you purchased! Once approved, you will get your money back. If you aren't able to front the material costs, we are happy to provide a pre-paid gift card for you to use.
Where do we go for monetary reimbursements?
We use a system called Expensify for all of our reimbursements.
Do we need to have our own equipment?
Although it is highly recommended, we do not require that you have your own machinery. We will work with you to locate makerspaces in your area that you can access!