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Covid and shop teaching?

sandiapaul

Titanium
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Location
Princeton, NJ USA
How are people handling this issue? We have suspended the teaching in the physics department for the foreseeable future. I'm trying to imagine how it might be done while maintaining social distance.

Anyone else at a college/university or tech school dealing with this?
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
I'll be interested in this as well. We've suspended a kids' science program for the time being - though with some remote.

One thought that comes to mind, assuming the data about airborne transmission is accuarate, is that now might be a good time to revisit how ventilation is managed (lab hoods, welding, cutting oil in the air, etc. etc.). I'd guess the ideal would be running make-up air vents near each work area and then exhaust areas (for chemical / welding / machining etc.) fumes so that fresh air blows past students and out. Maybe with some filtration where and as needed?

I'd guess someone is working on how to model this -- and also relatively affordable ways to upgrade facilities. Seems the physics program might well be the lead for the sciences?

Also seems that the data on the effectiveness of various types on masks -- in terms of the virus -- is all over the place. I'd think that a supplied air respirator, with a really good filter on the intake side, would be effective. No reason someone couldn't be making and selling those for under $200 or so each. If you come across really good data on masks, hope you'll let us know. Actually modeling, designing, and making an effective SAR would be an interesting class project.

The actual teaching portion for a whole lot of stuff could be video. It's the crucial hands-on stuff, often with a lab partner(s), that gets harder. Of course, some physics can be done outside. Replicating the acceleration due to gravity. The structures to keep raw eggs intact after being dropped from a tower, etc. We're going to have nice weather - be interesting to have the great outdoors physics curriculum??

One thing I haven't heard is anyone using exhaust air to measure if virus had been present in a space. Seems the sewers are being used - why not exhaust air. Apparently a swab test of a mask is pretty easy. One would think that a swab test of a larger exhaust filter once a day - say at lunch - might give a bit of early warning???
 

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
I've been on hiatus from my part-time instructor job at MIT since early April. At this moment I doubt I'll be back before the start of the fall term, and have not heard anything about changes in protocol or PPE use.

One thing I'd like to see (and would be expensive) is for rooms to have top-to-bottom airflow patterns, not horizontal. Much like clean rooms typically have, that flow pattern would help a lot to prevent contagion.

As I understand it, since the virus has a fairly short effective "life" outside a host, if it's not picked up from a surface or inhaled it degrades pretty quickly, so even a long path through a typical building HVAC system and discharge to the roof of a building may be quite safe as is.

When (hopefully not "if") I go back I will likely be wearing a respirator and gloves.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Diamond
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
Good friends nephew was taking welding classes when the lockdowns started and they changed to online classes only, needles to say welding is a skill that requires practice. When he got his stimulus check we found him a deal on a nice stick welder and set him up in a corner of the Tx shop, his first real life lesson is building an awning to work under outside the shop:D
 








 
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