Phoenix Collis and Archer Peart of Year 5 at Ambrose State School making 3D printed Ear Saver clips for staff at Gladstone Hospital.
Phoenix Collis and Archer Peart of Year 5 at Ambrose State School making 3D printed Ear Saver clips for staff at Gladstone Hospital.

How students’ 3D printing is helping health heroes

TECHNOLOGY whiz-kids from Ambrose State School are helping frontline Gladstone Hospital heath workers combat coronavirus by printing clips to help secure face masks.

Embossed with Hero at Work, the Ear Saver clips are produced by students in Years 5 and 6 using cutting-edge 3D printing technology in their rural classroom.

School principal and 3D printing "guru'' Andrew Collis said the idea was born when a teacher saw a Facebook post from the Health Department requesting anyone who had access to a 3D printer to produce the Ear Saver clips.

"We've got two 3D printers here at the school and we have been working over the past 12 months getting students to learn how to use the technology," Mr Collis said.

"We've really been looking for a need to print something for the community and this fell straight in line with what we have wanted to do."

Using Tinkercad software, the students have designed and manufactured the potentially life-saving devices, beginning production this week.

‘Hero at work’ is embossed on the 3D printed Ear Saver clips made by Ambrose State School students.
‘Hero at work’ is embossed on the 3D printed Ear Saver clips made by Ambrose State School students.

Mr Collis said the students were more than happy to use their impressive technology skills to help save vital health workers' lives in these extraordinary times.

"I've always had a passion for hands-on learning and I wanted the kids to design and develop things that people in the community can use and they have embraced it wholeheartedly," he said.

"During coronavirus the children of essential workers and vulnerable kids have been working with our Year 5/6 teacher Mr Williams making these clips."

Gladstone Hospital executive director Sandy Munro thanked the Ambrose State School students for their innovative idea, and their support.

"To have our young schoolchildren using technology this way to help our team is heartwarming, and we are truly grateful," she said.

"Staff who need to wear face masks for long periods of time will no doubt be very pleased to try this innovation."

Ms Munro said the support of the wider community was also greatly appreciated.

"We have been overwhelmed with kindness from our community keen to thank the great team at Gladstone Hospital that works day and night for their health," she said.

"This means the world to us, and makes it easier to carry on during extraordinary times."

Member Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the aptitude and community spirit of the school and the students were to be commended.

"I'd like to applaud the efforts of the students and staff at Ambrose State School in creating these clips, using their 3D printing skills," he said.

"It's wonderful to see students pitching in to support frontline health workers."


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