A Riverton High School language arts teacher’s invention, however, may simply be out of this world.
Scott Gunther crafted several masks and constructed multiple barriers to help protect his 35 students while he instructs, but nothing seemed to strike a balance with his desire to effectively communicate with the kids.
— Andrew Adams (@AndrewAdamsKSL) September 12, 2020
When Jordan School District officials gave teachers $500 for personal protective equipment, Gunther aimed for the stars.
“I’m a big fan of 1950s science fiction,” he said. “So, I made this helmet.”
The helmet is a plastic bubble with tubes attached to a backpack. The motorized setup includes HEPA filters and a fan. The base, Gunther said, is sealed by body pressure.
“Everything in here is medical grade and actually functional,” Gunther said. “I was trying to kind of blend the 1950s retro science fiction with a clean, modern aesthetic.”
Gunther wears a microphone that connects to the classroom speakers to ensure students hear every word.
“It’s kind of funny that the way I can get closer to them was by putting a plastic barrier between me and them,” Gunther said. “I thought the best way to react to an absurd situation is with something absurd.”
The teacher admits his invention, which continues to be a work in progress, also carries a message.
“For me, the point is social distancing is important, but we can still have fun,” Gunther said. “We can make fun, memorable things out of scary situations.”