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From robots to PPE: Forsyth Central students switch gears to help hospital workers
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Forsyth Central High School student Ayush Panda and the school’s FIRST Robotics team have been manufacturing face shields for hospital workers at Northside Hospital Forsyth since schools closed in March. (Photo courtesy Ayush Panda)

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Students in Forsyth Central High School’s FIRST Robotics team aren’t making robots right now, but they’re still putting their STEM skills to good use during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group joined with 3DPPE, an organization of high school students from FIRST Robotics programs across metro Atlanta, to manufacture and deliver personal protective equipment to hospital workers.

Founded by Kyle Hampton, a student at Wheeler High School in Marietta, the organization has donated over 2,750 face shields to small businesses and hospital workers.

Forsyth Central’s Team 1746 (OTTO) recently delivered 100 to Northside Hospital Forsyth, according to Ayush Panda.

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Forsyth Central High School student Ayush Panda delivers 100 face shields to Northside Hospital Forsyth manufactured by the school’s FIRST Robotics team. (Photo courtesy Ayush Panda)

3DPPE also has a website -- 3dppe.net -- that provides resources for those interested in 3D-printing the materials for face shields and a way for businesses and hospitals to request donations of PPE from the organization.

Those interested in printing the materials can download files for making the headgear and cutting the face sheet. Each headgear takes about 30 minutes. The face sheets can be cut with a computerized machine or by hand. The total cost of each face shield is about 50 cents, 3DPPE said.

There’s also a link to 3DPPE’s GoFundMe fundraising campaign where the public can help the organization buy more 3D printers as well as the filament for printing the face shields.