School district steps up, creates health care equipment

Coronavirus

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A school district in West Michigan is looking to play its part during the coronavirus pandemic by developing personal protection equipment such as masks and face shields for those who need it most.

Even though school buildings across the state are shut down due to COVID-19, the STEM team at Kenowa Hills Public Schools isn’t letting that stop them from making a difference the best way they know how.

“As teachers, we always hear that from our students, ‘When am I going to use this in my real life?’ And I think this is that perfect opportunity,” Ed Beickman, a STEM teacher at Kenowa Hills High School, said.

With the coronavirus outbreak continuously growing in our country, health care officials don’t have enough personal protection equipment to make sure they’re staying safe, too.

That’s why Kenowa Hills STEM teachers Steve Feutz and Ed Beickman are stepping up with their fellow staff members to help.

“Now that our teaching capacity is severely reduced, it’s great to have something else to kind of pour our efforts and energies into that’s going to make a tangible difference in the immediate future,” Feutz said.

The department is printing 3D masks, face shields and other PPE to send to medical professionals in West Michigan.

They began production on Monday and have completed about 50 items so far. Their goal is to double that.

“We try something, we did a ton of research, we made some prototypes, we planned, we tested them, we restarted, we just went over and over in this cycle,” Feutz said.

Feutz and Beickman are hoping to expand their project even more and are asking anyone with a 3D printer who might be able to help to reach out to them.

They say it’s the least they can do, while inspiring their students along the way.

“We’re taking what we’ve done. We’re showing them, hey we can do this, and on top of it, we have this opportunity to help people, and that’s the greatest thing we can do,” Beickman said.

If you’d like to help out with this project, more information can be found on the district’s website.

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