Local students shift gears to help restart our economy

As our economy reopens, business owners and their employees are going back to work and need to protect themselves from exposure to coronavirus. STEMbassadors, a student-run nonprofit organization in Ventura, wants to help. STEMbassadors has been 3D-printing and assembling face shields to help their local medical community since quarantine began. To date, STEMbassadors has provided 3500 face shields to medical workers and first responders. The STEMbassadors Face Shield Project has been so successful that STEMbassadors will now pivot to focus on helping small business owners and their employees.

STEMbassadors is working with community members to increase their production to make a total of 10,000 -12,000 face shields. Half of these will be available to small business owners and their employees. Ventura County business owners and employees who are interested in obtaining face shields should email their request through the STEMbassadors website: www.stembassadors.net. The remaining face shields will be sent overseas as part of STEMbassadors’ exciting new international endeavor. STEMbassadors’ student members were so inspired and encouraged by the incredible community support they received over the past two months, that they will now expand the impact of the project to an international level. “It gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment to see our skills as STEMbassadors having real impact in helping reopen local businesses and helping people worldwide”, said Pascal Hayward, a 9th grade STEMbassadors member.

STEMbassadors has connected with international charitable organizations with a presence in twenty economically disadvantaged countries around the world which are suffering from a severe lack of PPE. STEMbassadors will help the medical workers in these countries by providing them with protective face shields to help avoid illness, allowing them to treat Covid-19 infected patients. STEMbassadors is a student-managed, California 501(c)(3) corporation formed in 2017 in Ventura, comprised of 14 motivated middle and high school students with highly developed STEM “maker” skills. Their “maker” skills consist of the knowledge and ability to use CNC routers, computer aided design (CAD) and, of course, 3D printers. STEMbassadors is mentored by STEM educator, Alex Wulff.

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