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Enka Intermediate Student Makes Ear Guards
Enka Intermediate Student Makes Ear Guards
Posted on 04/17/2020
A collage showing Luke Boardman holding an "ear saver" and a close-up of the ear saver.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Luke Boardman is stepping up and showing everyone that kids can do big things!

The Enka Intermediate School fifth-grader heard about the need for “ear savers” that hold face masks at the back of the head to make them more comfortable for front-line medical workers. So he powered on his personal 3D printer and got to work making eight at a time.

“I saw a lot of people on the news, doctors and nurses who were wearing masks, and they had all kinds of bruises from them, especially on their ears,” he said. “So I decided to print these. I thought it was a neat idea to help people.”

Luke has been fascinated by 3D printers ever since he saw one at the public library in Naperville, Illinois when he was six years old, said his mother, Ms. Amanda Boardman.

“He bought his 3D printer with his own money and assembled it with a bit of help from his dad,” she said. “Luke’s a great kid and is always up for helping others, especially if he can use his knowledge of technology! He was Pisgah Elementary’s unofficial IT person and was the go-to kid for technology issues at the school.”

“School has given me a lot of opportunities to solve problems and fix things,” Luke said. “Sometimes I have to be creative with solutions, because things may not work the way they should, or I might not have exactly what I need to fix something. I’ve learned that technology has made it easy to produce things quickly and change them easily to get the product you need.”

Now, Luke is taking his personal hobby to a whole new level, joining the nationwide effort to protect medical workers as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic. He recently dropped off a batch of ear savers at Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy, where BCS 3D printers are churning out ear savers for the Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center.

“I actually feel really good, because it’s helping people, saving ears, possibly saving lives,” he said.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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