ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County teachers and students are lending their time and resources to producing personal protective equipment for health care workers fighting COVID-19.

What You Need To Know

  • Windy Ridge K-8 teacher got idea to use school's 3D printers to make PPE

  • 7th grader who had her own 3D printer jumped at the chance to help

  • Students and teachers have printed more than 12,000 items of PPE

  • More Good News stories

Kaitlyn Grace, a seventh-grader at Windy Ridge K-8 in Orlando, is using the 3D printer she got for the holidays to print face shields and ear savers for medical workers.

In one day, she can print about 400 pieces.

“It’s cool; I can help out and have fun at the same time,” Kaitlyn said.

Her teacher, Michael Cohen, first got the idea to use the school’s 3D printers to help out front-line medical workers.

“I try to include my students in everything,” Cohen said.

When he asked his students if they wanted to help, Kaitlyn jumped at the chance.

“And he was like, 'Oh Kaitlyn, you have a 3D printer, would you like to help us out?’ Of course I said yes!” she told us.

With their own 3D printers and others provided by the district, several teachers and students from different Orange County schools have now turned their homes into factories.

“We’ve had over 2,000 face shields now donated to nurses from I think 32 states in the country,” Cohen said.

He said the response they’ve received from nurses who got the protective gear has been overwhelming, and it's a lesson for his students better than any on his syllabus.

“They realize that they can positively affect their world, and I think that’s one of the best lessons I think we’ve all learned,” Cohen said.

Kaitlyn said seeing the comments on social media from nurses they’ve helped is something she’ll never forget.

“You just can’t put it into words,” she said.

So far the students and teachers have printed over 12,000 PPE items. Cohen says they’re going to keep it up as long as the demand is there.

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