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Newmarket Teacher Creates Experimental Ventilator Prototype
News Release
Newmarket Teacher Creates Experimental Ventilator Prototype
Newmarket, ON – A Newmarket High School teacher has developed a prototype for a ventilator using materials he had at home, including a windshield wiper motor, to help developing countries with the fight against COVID-19.
Computer Science Subject Head/Teacher Gordon Payne was inspired by the frontline healthcare workers in his family and reports of ventilator shortages around the world, including in Ontario and severe shortages in developing countries.
“My wife is a family physician and I have nurses in my family,” Payne said. “They’re the front-line people in this battle. This is my way of contributing and helping us to overcome this pandemic.”
After seeing calls for open source ventilator projects, he wanted to create a prototype that could be manufactured by someone with average technical skills, common tools, and using materials that are easily accessible. He built the prototype using materials and tools he had at home, including the motor from a windshield wiper and an Arduino microcontroller.
“I thought I could design something inexpensive, fast and simple” he explained. Payne’s ventilator took him nine hours to make and costs less than $70. He plans to enter his design, called the Village Vent, in the United Nations COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge.
Even if his design is not selected, he hopes it will benefit his students in their learning. He teaches his students many of the techniques used in the prototype.
“I want students to see how we can use our creativity, problem-solving and technical skills to help better the world," he explained.  “At the very least, this ventilator project will continue to live on as an instructional tool in my courses.”

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 127,000 students in 180 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow YRDSB on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
For more information contact:
Jamie Bennett
Corporate Communications                                       
905-727-0022 Ext. 2272


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