The Call of CommUNITY: STEM Teams 3D Print Face Shields for Healthcare Workers
We are witnessing an unprecedented disruption throughout our communities and industries. It’s no surprise that unexpected heroes around the world are stepping up to help as countries grapple with COVID-19. As the past couple weeks have unfolded across the U.S., we’ve all seen how many are getting involved to help others.
We can all do our part – from social distancing and charitable donations to working extra hours to help power and secure remote work efforts. One of the most inspiring examples is those who are assisting the healthcare workers fighting an uphill battle against the virus spread and depletion of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is vital for protecting our healthcare professionals who are putting themselves in harm’s way in order to help the sick. It’s clear that unity is once again the key to our community. Businesses large and small are coming together to quickly manufacture much-needed PPE, ventilators and other equipment. But they aren’t alone in those efforts.
High school STEM clubs around the Bay Area are putting their passion and ingenuity to work assisting to fill the shortfall of protective masks for healthcare workers. At Saratoga High School in Saratoga California, the robotics team is collaborating with many other schools, non-profits, and individuals in a community-wide effort to manufacture PPE for healthcare workers. Using the 3D printers and laser cutters that were being used to make parts for their competition robots, they are now making bands for face shields.
SFG Partner Reed Kingston has been a mentor for Saratoga’s STEM team for many years, and like many of the students, mentors and supporters, he is running his personal 3D printer 24/7 to turn out parts for the face shields. And while filament to 3D print the bands is now running low, they are seeking more ways to source materials to continue their efforts.
“There are many wonderful stories of generosity that are sure to come out of this challenging time and seeing high school students put their skills and innovative know-how to work for others is awe-inspiring,” Reed says. “Like our healthcare workers, they are making incredible contributions to our community. I’m so proud of these kids.”