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COVID HACK: MIT SWIMMING AND DIVING HOW WE KEEP OUR MASKS DRY

covid hack?

Although MIT cancelled varsity athletics intercollegiate competition during the 2020-2021 academic year, teams were able to begin in-person practice with those students on-campus for the spring semester. But practicing in the midst of a pandemic looks different, and each team had to rethink how they operate day-to-day to prioritize the health and safety of student-athletes and the MIT community.

For the men's and women's swimming and diving team, a particular challenge was how to keep a mask close by for entering and exiting the pool without it getting wet on the deck. The solution came from a MIT Swim & Dive Hackathon that took place before the start of the spring semester.

what is a HACKATHON?

A "hackathon" is a common event around MIT, and usually consists of a large number people in the community working on solving a specific problem within a 24-hour window. Led by their senior captains, the MIT Swim & Dive Hackathon featured a 48-hour submission window, including a four hour “expo” window for student-athletes to share their ideas. The submissions were then presented to the team and the coaching staff during a team zoom meeting.

The final design was a combination of three different groups including first years Helen Chen, Katie Kostecki, Brian Li, Riley Moeykens, Evelyn Peters, Katie Sapozhnikov, and Nicole Stiles, and juniors Jaya Kambhampaty, Laura Rosado, and Chelsea Zhang.

Bags can easily clip onto a block, equipment bag, or similar apparatus!

The final design, which can be seen above, contains three components: 1) a waterproof bag for storing a student-athlete's mask; 2) a carabiner to clip on to a block or equipment bag for easy access; and 3) for divers specifically, a pulley system so they can wear their mask until the moment before they dive and then have it easily accessible upon exiting the water. Below are excerpts from the presentation which explain the diving protocol.

*Modifications have not had to be made to avoid hitting Taryn, MIT's Head Diving Coach!