Swimming Mask Holders Project – Kai Wang ’22

    As a swimmer during the 2020-21 school year, I constantly faced the disappointment of having to wear a cold, damp mask after a strenuous workout (thank you Coach Kirkman). While I would like to have a personal heater to keep my mask warm and dry during practice, I think that what I, and the rest of the EDI Fellows, have made is a pretty good concession prize. 

    From Coach Kirkman’s request, the EDI Fellows created mask holders for the Norfolk Academy swimming program. These mask holders, constructed from PVC pipes and PVC cement, will be placed behind each of the eight lanes on both sides of the pool. Each mask holder has two PVC pipe extensions that the masks will hang on.

    We started the design process with a design created by Coach Kirkman. Our fellows were divided into three distinct groups: measurers/assemblers (mark appropriate PVC pipe length), cutters (use a table saw to cut PVC pipes at the marked length), and gluers (apply the glue that will hold the PVC pipes together). I was on the measuring team, as I had experience measuring for our previous project, the Gardening Stations for the New E3 school. However, this project posed new and exciting problems that we had to work through. Firstly, the rounded and glossy nature of the PVC pipes made it difficult to accurately mark our measurements. Personally, I think that some of my marks (I have poor artistic ability) may have contributed to some oddly cut PVC pipes. Additionally, we used Expo markers to make our measuring marks, of which marks could be erased easily. There were two pieces of PVC that had to be re-marked, but the process to re-measure did not take long, fortunately.

    Contrary to my expectations, we faced less challenges and were very efficient as a group. This efficiency could be because of our past experiences with the Gardening Stations. Additionally, the process that we had to execute was very systematic. There was a set blueprint for creating the mask holders, and there were set groups that we were assigned to. With this level of organization, it is expected that some level of efficiency will arrive. For future projects, however, I would like to see a little less organization from the directors, as it would be interesting to see our overall group grapple with unique challenges. Overall, I was very happy with the professionalism and efficiency displayed by the EDI Fellows through this project.

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