Updated: April 14, 2020 10:53 AM
Created: April 13, 2020 04:40 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - 3-D printers inside Gage Simpson's house are being put to good use these days, creating PPE for healthcare workers and first responders.
Simpson is an advanced manufacturing teacher with WSWHE BOCES' Early College Career Academy. He teaches about 40 high school juniors and seniors from the Queensbury and Lake George-areas. They learn to design and create using 3-D printers.
However, with schools closed because of the pandemic, the hands-on lessons stopped.
"Going home was really difficult," said Simpson.
So when a Syracuse-area company made its 3-D face shield design available to anyone willing to help flatten the curve, Simpson jumped at it. '
He got the okay from BOCES, downloaded the template, tweaked it and is printing the shields from his Saratoga Springs attic.
The students will attach the plastic sheets and get some hands-on experience in adapting and problem-solving.
"When there is a need, use your skills and your talents to fill that need."
Simpson says a lot of his students have parents who work in healthcare so helping to protect them was a no-brainer.
They're sending the shields to rescue squads and healthcare facilities in the North Country.
Simpson says shields aren't a replacement for N95 masks, but they provide another layer of protection.
"These are hopefully going to block any droplets or mists or debris that if somebody were sneezing or coughing, all that gets picked up and blocked on the face shield. That way it keeps your mask cleaner, longer."
Simpson says producing PPE that could help save lives offers a valuable lesson for his students.
"Look for the next challenge and be the solution."
Copyright 2020 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company