HISD educators use 3D printers to produce face shields for health care workers, first responders

Houston Independent School District STEM educators are joining the effort to help first responders and health care professionals by producing face shields to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Using HISD’s 3D printers, a team of six district educators are producing at least 100 face shields per week in response to the shortage of personal protective equipment.

The collaborative effort, which began on April 8 and is known as H-Force, is led by Houston Community College (HCC) and includes HISD, San Jacinto College, the University of Houston at Sugar Land, the Fort Bend County Judge’s Office, TX/RX Labs, and Alief ISD.

“We are fortunate to have incredible teachers and staff who can directly support our city’s health care heroes by producing personal protective equipment,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “HISD is a proud partner in this collective effort, and we will continue to do our part during this difficult time.”

A Career and Technical Education (CTE) program manager and five science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers from the following campuses are participating in the effort:

  • Eastwood Academy
  • Energy Institute High School
  • Lamar High School
  • Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men
  • Washington High School

With HISD campuses closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, most of the educators have relocated the 3D printers from their schools to their homes to produce the face shields in keeping with city and county orders to “Stay Home, Work Safe.”

“We’re using the same materials that would be used to make any face shield,” HISD Assistant Superintendent for College and Career Readiness Mike Love said. “The only difference is that ours are being made by educators.”

Love’s team will be exploring how to incorporate practical, hands-on experiences for students taking CTE courses that are based on the face shield 3D-printing project – including the possibility of live-streaming the lessons for students through HISD @ H.O.M.E.

Individuals wishing to make a financial donation or donate filament and 3D printing supplies should visit www.thehforce.org.