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Even 5-year-olds produce protective gear at FAU

Students as young as 5 to high school seniors at two FAU schools are not just doing virtual homework during the pandemic. They’re on a working team producing personal protective gear called PPE for local hospitals.

So far they’ve produced more than 650 face shields and 500 ear savers, and expect to collect another 350 face shields today. Some 36 intubation chambers were made as an extra layer of protection for doctors and nurses intubating coronavirus patients who need to be on a respirator.

Local hospital representatives are picking up the PPEs at drive-thrus on FAU’s Boca campus.

The project came together at FAU’s Cane Institute for Advanced Technologies at A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School’s 3D printed personal protective equipment.

Allan Phipps, district science coordinator at both schools, was contacted by Giovana Jaen, an FAU High alum, now a student at FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine. He relocated the school’s 3D printing equipment to his personal garage and has been coordinating the institute’s efforts. Phipps is also manufacturing face shields and intubation chambers with his own children who attend Henderson.

Phipps and James Nance, middle school science teacher at Henderson, started social distancing drive-throughs in front of the school. Students can drop off 3D printed face shields and ear savers they created at home. They can have their own personal 3D printers serviced. Hospital representatives do pick-ups at the same location.

“This has been a team effort from the start. We are doing everything we can to support the medical professionals and our local hospitals during this crisis,” Phipps said in a statement.

FAU has been able to donate this PPE as a result of public, private and industry support. To contribute, contact Mickey Zitzmann at mzitzmann@fau.edu.

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