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UE technology and engineering community 3-D prints face shields

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3-D Shields

ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- Teachers around the Southern Tier are adjusting to online learning.

Many admit it's put them to the test, especially with hands-on subjects like technology and engineering.

Union-Endicott High School technology and engineering teacher Mike Wichowski called it a change of pace.

"Where we're finding issues is being able to bridge that gap between what we're able to do in school versus what students can do at home with different resources." said Wichowski.

A small group of Union-Endicott High School teachers are using their time at home to make a difference not only for their students, but for the community, 3-D printing face shields for health care workers.

"This is something that we do a lot with our students. We design different projects, 3-D printer projects, we kind of thought this would be a great way to show them the usable, tangible, feature of their education," said Union-Endicott High School engineering teacher Corey Munn.

The teachers involved were able to bring home the school's 3-D printers and found free files from the Budman Industries website to make the shields.

They've already cranked out dozens, donating them to local EMS crews and the supply drop off location at the Oakdale Mall.

"We are currently in the process of making another 50. And then hopefully after that another 50. Try to meet the need for what is out there," said Wichowski.

But the teachers are not doing the work all alone.

"It's been a great community effort printing these out and getting them to our healthcare workers," said Munn.

Abigail Winans is a junior at Union-Endicott who is also a member of the Tiger Tronics club.

"I always did like technology but I feel like my love for technology started there," she said.

Winans has a 3-D printer at home and with access to the files she is also able to help print the shields.

It's a process she says isn't hard.

"Even though I'm so busy because I'm trying to keep my life filled and enriching despite school being closed, like I said, it has come down to being the press of a button. If I can help someone stay safe by pressing a button, then I'm going to do that all day long," said Winans.

Helping her play a small part in making a big difference for those in our own backyard.

"I really feel like since this is a community problem, it needs a community solution," said Winans.

If you know someone with a 3-D printer and are able to donate supplies, filament, transparency pages, and elastic are all helpful.

For more on the coronavirus, click here.

Annie Flaherty

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