Local high school robotics team makes face shields for essential workers

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BROADALBIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local robotics team has diverted its attention from world championships to helping those fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nut Jobs are a local robotics team from Broadalbin Perth. They’re using leftover plastic filament to print face shields. The team is comprised of all sophomores and is intended to give a hands-on experience to kids.

At the end of April, the students were set to attend a world championship in Detroit, but with events being canceled, they decided to use the materials they had leftover and turn them into face shields for people to use.

According to Coach Jill Becker, the team can produce about one shield an hour, and the team has been running the 3D printing machine non-stop.

The Nut Jobs have made and delivered over 200 shields to local, essential workers like the Broadalbin Firehouse and the Community Healthcare office in Johnstown.

Becker said the project was researched and is being headed by sophomore Emily Mickan. The design for the shields they are making have been approved by the National Institute of Health, and Mickan said losing the opportunity to attend the world championships was tough, but the team has made it their mission to give back.

“It was kind of jarring because we had been meeting every single day as a robotics team. We just all of a sudden didn’t have anything to work toward anymore; we didn’t have anything to do,” she said. “When this came up, the entire team was so excited because we finally had something to do. I think that the fact that the whole robotics community — we all came together, and even though we can’t go to the championship, we can at least be together like this.”

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