Members of the Pine Lake Prep Robotics team, “Team SPORK”, were packing for district competition scheduled in Asheville when COVID-19 forced the closure of school and cancellation of the FIRST Robotics season.

Over the past few weeks, members from Team SPORK have switched their focus from building and testing a competition robot to 3D printing personal protective equipment including face shields and surgical mask straps. They have been in contact with local health care organizations to distribute more than 200 PPE sets to first responders and healthcare professionals.

Michael Johns, PLP sophomore, started the group and has delegated the tasks out to the students in addition to printing, cleaning and packaging PPE.

Matthew Taboada has been 3D printing, cleaning, and packaging the PPE, and has helped with additional management across the teams.

Sarah Taboada has been working on the website. Pranathi Dandu has been working on the operations and inventory. Sruthi Anil has provided additional assistance on 3D printer maintenance; and Calum Lashley has contacted material suppliers.

They are still working on getting the website set up, and information will be shared soon for anyone interested in donating to their efforts.

“We are proud of the way they observed a community need, and applied technology to solve a problem,” said Lori Reuter, PLP assistant principal.

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