Coronavirus Guidelines


1 – Purpose

The below is intended to provide guidance for the safe resumption of activities by growingSTEMS. Adherence to this policy will allow for limited reopening of the Stachelczyk STEM Center.


These guidelines apply:

  1. To all individuals associated with the growingSTEMS organization when conducting growingSTEMS activities, including the Board of Directors, staff, mentors, and students.
  2. To all individuals entering any facilities leased or financially supported by growingSTEMS.
  3. Exceptions to this guidance include the following:
    1. Those individuals which do not fall under the jurisdiction of growingSTEMS, such as law enforcement or public safety personnel conducting official business.
    2. Any growingSTEMS operations outside the State of Maryland. The West Virginia components are expected to develop their own guidelines in accordance with state and local regulations.
  4. This guidance is only applicable when the State of Maryland is operating under the Phase II or higher of the state reopening plan. Should the State of Maryland increase restrictions, entry to the shop shall again be limited to only staff and mentors.


The specific guidelines for safe operation of the growingSTEMS organization are provided here.

  1. Personal Health:
    1. No individual who is sick, or has been in close contact with a sick individual, is permitted to enter any growingSTEMS facilities.
      1. Any symptoms that fall under the CDC COVID-19 symptom list shall be reported to the Executive Director.
      2. The Executive Director has the sole jurisdiction to interpret, for the purposes of subsection 3)a, the definition of:
        1. sick
        2. close contact
      3. The Executive Director may, exercising discretion, require additional confirmation of any lack of symptoms or resolution of symptoms.
    2. Any individual entering a facility must affirm that they do not present a risk to public health, as defined by paragraph 3)a.i.
      1. This affirmation may take place verbally or in a written form, as determined by the Executive Director.
  2. Protective Actions:
    1. All individuals in the facility, whenever possible, will maintain at least six feet of distance between each other.
    2. All individual in the facility must, at all times and regardless of actions taken consistent with paragraph 3)b.i, properly wear a suitable face mask. A suitable face mask is defined as one that:
      1. Provides resistance against droplets, fluid splashes, and other bodily fluid excretions.
      2. Contains multiple layers of cloth or a material that is certified by NIOSH to filter particulates.
      3. Does not contain a valve that allows exhaled air to be released into the surrounding environment.
    3. All individuals in the facility must maintain proper hygiene
      1. All individuals, upon entering, must clean their hands with the appropriate hand-sanitizer provided at the facility entry area.
      2. All individuals must, every 30 minutes, wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, appropriate hand sanitizer may be utilized.
    4. All shared equipment and tools must be cleaned, with appropriate disinfectant, before being provided to the next person.
    5. All surfaces handled in the bathroom must be cleaned before the next person can use it.
    6. All equipment, tools, and facilities areas used during a meeting must be cleaned before the last meeting mentor departs. This includes, but is not limited to, the following
      1. Any tables and equipment
      2. The facility bathroom
    7. Should notice of a COVID-19 positive test be provided to the growingSTEMS staff, a thorough cleaning consistent with CDC guidelines must occur at the affected facility.
    8. Proper signage, as required to inform of these guidelines, will be placed in visible locations around the facilities.
  3. Meeting Limitations:
    1. Entry into the shop is only permitted when work cannot be completed virtually. This can include, but is not limited to:
      1. Building robots or manufacturing parts
      2. Testing code
      3. The need to use tools or equipment that are not available virtually.
      4. Any other reason deemed sufficient by the Executive Director
    2. Only the minimum number of personnel require to accomplish the work described in paragraph 3)c.i shall attend each physical meeting.
    3. All meetings are limited to a maximum of ten individuals.
    4. No more than one FRC subteam or FTC/FLL team may meet at a time without the approval of the Executive Director. This is in addition to the restrictions provided in paragraph 3)c.iii to promote cohorting.
    5. No food may be consumed in the facilities, when more than one person is present, without the approval of the Executive Director.
    6. Whenever possible, meetings should take place outside an enclosed facility.


To ensure the safe operation of growingSTEMS, additional cleaning equipment will be acquired by the Executive Director. This equipment includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Disinfectant
    1. Must be on the list of EPA approved disinfectants.
    2. Must be utilized in a manner that is consistent with the manufacturer guidance and with the CDC guidelines.
  2. Hand sanitizer
    1. Must contains at least 60% alcohol
    2. Must not contain any harmful substances, including methanol. Any products noted on the FDA list as containing a harmful substance should not be procured.


The specific roles and duties established by this guidance document are detailed below.

  1. Executive Director:
    1. Will implement this guidance document to safeguard the health and safety off all individuals.
    2. Will address all known violations of this policy and take any actions deemed necessary and as consistent with section 6)
    3. Will acquire cleaning equipment, as noted in section 4)
    4. Will approve meeting rationale, as described in paragraph 3)c.i.4
    5. Will restrict facility access based on personal health, as noted in paragraph 3)a
    6. May approve multiple FRC subteams or other programs to meet, as described in paragraph 3)c.iv
    7. May approve the consumption of food in the facilities, as described in paragraph 3)c.v
  2. Safety Lead:
    1. Will provide applicable signs and informational materials, as required by the Executive Director for implementation of this guidance. Refer to paragraph 3)b.viii
    2. Will ensure distribution of instructions necessary for safe operation of the equipment notes in section 6)
  3. Staff and Mentors:
    1. Will report all perceived violations to these guidelines to the Executive Director
    2. Will route all reported violations, as reported under paragraph 5)e.ii, to the Executive Director
    3. Will clean the facility as noted in paragraph 3)b.vii.
  4. FRC Subteam and other program Leads:
    1. Will ensure that the facility is properly cleaned after each team or subteam meeting, as consistent with paragraph 3)
  5. All individuals that this guidance applies to, as defined by section 2):
    1. Have a responsibility to adhere to these restrictions
    2. Will report all violations to the Executive Director or the nearest staff or mentor
    3. Will clean the shop bathroom each time they use it, as consistent with paragraph 3)b.v.
    4. Will honestly report their health status to the growingSTEMS staff.


Individuals subject to this policy, as defined by section 2), that do not adhere to these guidelines are subject to the following restrictions, as deemed suitable by the Executive Director.

  1. Restriction from growingSTEMS facilities, either on a short-term basis or until resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic


This guidance is effective as of 8/26/2020.


This guidance is subject to change or be cancelled without notice, from time to time at our sole discretion. We will notify you of any amendments to these guidelines by posting them here to this website. If you do not agree  with these guidelines you will be restricted from any growingSTEMS facilities, either on a short-term basis or until resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.