District staff and volunteers use 3-D printers to make more than 6,900 face shields for healthcare workers
Posted on 04/29/2020
Photo: (L to R) David Vanzant, a teacher at STEM School Chattanooga, models a face shield produced by a 3-D printerProduction is winding down in the makeshift face shield lab at STEM School Chattanooga where teachers and volunteers have spent the past month using 3-D printers to make the protective equipment for local healthcare workers. The efforts have delivered 2,756 face shields to healthcare workers, and volunteers have boxed an additional 4,163 for delivery. The team made a total of 6,919 face shields and several hundred ear-savers over the past month of production.

“I am so proud to be a member of our Hamilton County School system and our greater Chattanooga Community,” said Kristin Burrus, Digital Fabrication Ecosystem lead, STEM School Chattanooga. “None of this could have been possible without our business partners and volunteers.”

The 3-D printers from across the districts were brought together at STEM School on the campus of Chattanooga State to have a 3-D printer farm working to produce protective devices for local doctors and nurses. The farm included 73 printers from school VW eLabs, STEM labs, Fab labs, and makerspaces in Hamilton County Schools.

“We have received numerous thank you messages and words of appreciation from healthcare workers at hospitals and retirement centers around town,” Burrus added. “For people who work tirelessly to look after the health of our community, it was important for us to demonstrate someone was looking after them, too.

Hamilton County Schools has the world’s largest collection of educational digital Fab labs, and district personnel wanted to put the 3-D printers in the labs to work in the battle against the COVID-19 virus.

“We have the largest collection of digital labs anywhere in the world,” said Jim David, assistant principal at STEM School Chattanooga. “Not many school districts have this type of technology available to make a safe face shield.”

Watch the video to see the 3-D farm at work!

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6tmxohHzYo

Photo: (L to R) David Vanzant, a teacher at STEM School Chattanooga, models a face shield produced by a 3-D printer