STEM students use 3D printing technology to create PPE for frontline workers | KOB 4
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STEM students use 3D printing technology to create PPE for frontline workers

Brett Luna
Created: May 18, 2020 06:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Every April, students with R4 Creating are typically competing in a robotics competition, but coronavirus has changed those plans. Luckily, the students have adjusted and shifted their efforts into printing face shields for workers on the front lines. 

"The students that are printing are 11 time state champions. They've won an international championship to represent our community," said Dr. Shelly Gruenig, Director of R4 Creating.

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"Multiple times we've been told that we were the first ones there with any kind of PPE delivered and that people have been overwhelmed by the kids and the generosity,” she added.

Since starting the operation, the students have already made about 4,000 face shields.

"It feels good to know that we're helping people even though we can't be there to help people in person,” said Tori MacMillan, a student intern at R4 Creating.

A local restaurant has also partnered with the students to help show support.

"Papa Murphy's Pizza has come alongside us and has been delivering pizza to the places where we're delivering shields, so we've literally delivered hundreds and hundreds of pizzas, Gruenig said.

Graduate student intern at Sandia National Labs, John Krukar, said it's great to see the kids taking what they learned at camp to now making face shields with some of those printers. 

"I was so proud and impressed by them.  At the end of the camp after they had showed me how much they had learned and how quickly they caught onto all of it.  Then to months and months later hear that they had gone out and paid it forward. Now that they were making a difference in our community I felt just even more proud and excited for them."

If you would like to know how you can help the students with their efforts you can visit their website by clicking here.


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