The Broadalbin-Perth High School robotics team, the Nut Jobs, is helping prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Students on the team are using their 3D printer to make face shields for healthcare workers. Team members are printing and delivering the personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge. According to coach Jill Becker, the Nut Jobs have already delivered almost 200 shields and they have more orders to fill.
“We started to do research on this when a friend of mine said that they had to put their PPE in a bag and save it because they didn’t have any more,” Becker said.
B-P sophomore and Nut Jobs team member Emily Mickan completed all the research on how to print the shields, which have been reviewed by and are being recommended by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Nuts Job used a 3D print file shared by a New York City-based group called Hack the Pandemic.
“Being able to help out is an awesome feeling,” said Mickan, who was just named a FIRST Tech Dean’s List national finalist. “I never thought it would get this much attention. It is exciting”
The Nut Jobs have been in touch with at least one local hospital, who is assessing the shield to determine if they will be able to use it for their needs. Shields have been delivered to the Community Health Center in Johnstown, Johnstown Family Dentistry, Broadalbin-Perth Family Health, Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Department, and Broadalbin HELPS, a Facebook group started to help connect people in need with donated supplies.
The shields are also being used by Broadalbin-Perth food service workers, who are providing meals to students while in-person classes are canceled.
The Nut Jobs joined forces with the Robovines, a FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team from Ballston Spa, to print the shields.