March 2020 - Being sent back home from university like many other students were, Karina Popovich wanted to do something to help. 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 national PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) shortages.
April - In an effort to encourage other 3D-printer owners 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, were matched with vetted medical workers requesting PPE for their facilities, were reimbursed for material costs, and found themselves among a community of fellow supportive Makers.
September - M4COVID expanded to a team of 20+ executives, donated extensively across the country (from San Diego to the Navajo Nation to New York City), and supported 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 shipments to Kenya and Ghana.
October - 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 Makers for COVID-19. 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 building 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 the Ambassador program using this link. We are currently accepting applications for Cohort 2 which will run from May to November 2021! 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 track you'll be joining. In the weeks after, we'll enable you with the resources needed to start contributing to your community.
How many cohorts are there?
There will only be one cohort at a time - we want to ensure we can focus on providing the best possible experience for our Makers.
What types of tracks do you currently offer?
We have three track options: Animal Prosthetics, 3D Printed Toys, and Laser Cutting
Can I do multiple tracks?
At this time, we allow students to only participate in one track to guarantee a manageable workload. However, a chapter can participate in multiple tracks by dedicating a "subteam" for each track. 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. More details on how reimbursements work will be shared during the onboarding session for accepted teams. Stay tuned!
How long does the program last?
This program will run for a total of 6 months, with many technical skill workshops happening in the first 3 months and entrepreneurial training sessions happening in the last 3 months.
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!