The Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) recently tapped into the amazing power and possibilities of 3D printers to help protect the health of hundreds of local volunteers and thousands of Pasadena students, thanks to a COVID-19 Emergency Grant from the Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF).
A generous supporter donated several 3D printers to PEF years ago so students could get a hands-on experience of the fast-growing technology. PEF offers programs and support for students in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) where 65% of students qualify for the federal free and reduced-price meals program for low-income families.
When the pandemic hit, protective gear became a hot commodity especially for first responders, health care workers and field volunteers. PEF’s staff and PUSD teachers put their 3D printers to lifesaving work by creating face shields for PUSD staff and volunteers who regularly distribute meals to local vulnerable families.
The 3D team created a safe working space at John Muir High School and, with the funds from PCF, purchased fabrication materials to print almost 1,000 face shields for food services staff and volunteers. The project grew with PEF creating face shields for all PUSD food service workers, maintenance and operations staff as well as volunteers on the front lines. Additionally the team printed protective gear for the entire staff at two PUSD Child Care Centers that serve children of essential workers.
Now, as discussions about how and when to re-open schools intensify, PEF and PUSD are prepping for the new school year by printing more than 2,000 face shields for PUSD teachers, principals, office managers, counselors, and nurses.