We're here to help you navigate STEM learning at home while schools and camps are closed due to COVID-19.

Here are some resources to guide your at home learning:

Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
Engineering design, public health, disease transmission
Girl wearing homemade cloth mask with ribbon ties over nose and mouth to protect against COVID-19.

Introduction

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends wearing a mask or cloth face covering—particularly in places where it is impossible to maintain social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others). This recommendation is for everyone age two or older (children under the age of two should not wear masks). Many instructions to make your own mask are available online. This activity will help you think through the process of designing and making a mask as an engineering problem. What factors should you consider to design a mask that works well for you, given the materials you have available?

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Thank you to EPAM for sponsoring the development of this activity. EPAM is a leading global provider of software product development and digital platform engineering services to hundreds of Fortune 500 and 1000 clients located around the world. EPAM’s corporate social responsibility goals are driven by their values, correspond with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and are guided by ISO 26000 standards, which provide guidance on how businesses can operate in a socially responsible way. EPAM is committed to serving as an ethical organization and sharing their time and talent to improve tech education around the world, contributing to the sustainability of their local communities.

This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

Since this is an engineering activity, there is not a specific required list of materials. You will need to make use of the materials you have available. For example:

  • Cloth material like a bandana or old t-shirt
  • Hair ties or rubber bands
  • Optional: Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
    Materials to make a DIY face mask

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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
Engineering design, public health, disease transmission
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