WILSONVILLE, OR (KPTV) – High school robotics teams would typically compete against each other this time of year, but instead, two clubs in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District are teaming up to help with the COVID-19 response.
Students and volunteers are making face shields, producing them on 3D printers at home. They’ve also partnered with local companies for some of the production and assembly.
About a dozen students and several adult mentors from robotics teams at high schools in West Linn and Wilsonville have already distributed 120 face shields. The shields have been delivered to places throughout the community, including OHSU, Salem Hospital, West Linn and Wilsonville police, and Safeway.
Amanda Hioe is the business leaders on her team at West Linn High School. She says she has had a lot of down time from school and feels fortunate to be making a difference in her community.
“You don’t feel like you can do much as a student before this project started, but now that this project started, you really feel like you can make an impact,” Hioe said. “I’m really grateful I have a platform and a team that helps me out and allows me to be something this big.”
Tim Bennington-Davis is a volunteer mentor for the team. He works as an engineer with Verizon and says he enjoys contributing to the success of the next generation.
“The enjoyment for us is, adult mentors, is we get the chance to work with the next generation of students who will become scientists, engineers, whatever walk of life they’re going to go through, but it gives us a way to build community outside of school but also connected to the school,” Bennington-Davis said.
Bennington-Davis has been a volunteer for the last 16 years for Wilsonville High School’s robotics team. He says this is the biggest impact their robotics team has ever made on the community. He says the students have had a lot of practice with this so far and are getting faster with their 3D printers. He says they’re on track to turn out 240 more face shields within the next week and a half.
The students have shipped the face masks to California and Indiana. They say they’re looking forward to continuing to find people they can help during this time.
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