In Montgomery, the Chamber of Commerce is bringing together Air Force innovation specialists, manufacturers and students to produce 3D-printed personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers.
TechMGM, an economic and workforce development initiative of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Air University’s MGMWERX innovation center and a group of local makers, Montgomery Fighting COVID, are partnering in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) challenge to activate 3D printers and volunteers to make face shields. The shields will go to the Montgomery Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for distribution.
“In Montgomery, we have often faced our greatest challenges when communities come together,” said Charisse Stokes, executive director, TechMGM. “We are uniquely positioned at the chamber to bring together these groups to maximize each of their resources, talents and abilities to not only provide desperately needed PPE gear, but make connections between our military, maker and education communities. Perhaps just as importantly, we are showing students that technical and creative abilities not only make for great careers but can even save lives.”
MGMWERX is ordering and providing the materials for printing and assembly of the face shields. Montgomery Fighting COVID provides the printing files and list of preferred materials for the challenge and will assemble and sanitize shields. Their website collects information on manufacturers and schools that want to participate and medical organizations needing shields. That information is shared with the Montgomery EMA, which solicits volunteers.
Schools volunteering to participate are Alabama State University, Alabama Christian Academy, Brewbaker Middle School, Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy, Eastwood Presbyterian Church School, Elmore County Technical Center, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, Pike Road High School, Prattville High School and Trinity Presbyterian School. Students and teachers will utilize 3D printers that have been used for robotics, STEM projects and science labs.
For more information on the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 resources, visit www.montgomerychamber.com/covid-19.