TMI junior designs and donates mask holders to dentistry students
Sophia Oliveira, a junior at TMI Episcopal, created, designed, and fabricated (using a 3D printer) mask holders as a project for her Innovation and Design class. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, dentists and other health care providers often wear two masks when treating patients. The mask holders that Oliveira designed make it easier for providers to wear multiple masks for hours, comfortably.
Oliveira’s passion for the project stemmed from a combination of interest in bioengineering and watching her mother – a dentist and a professor at the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry – return home from work with sores on her face and ears where the masks had rubbed the skin for hours. She wanted to create something that would help.
The mask holder she designed is a flexible plastic device with multiple hooks. When using the device, a person can loop the elastic ear bands of the different masks onto the loops, creating a more comfortable fit. When she completed fabricating the device, Oliveira visited the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry in early December to donate 50 of her mask holders to dental students.
At TMI, Oliveira is a member of the National Honor Society and the varsity volleyball team.