West Ranch students provide face shields for school faculty

Timothy Kang, Design Editor in Chief

On Sept. 2 at 1:15 p.m., a team of West Ranch students met with Principal Crawford on the school campus to deliver face shields for the West Ranch teachers. These face shields were designed, produced and distributed by the student-run nonprofit organization Open-Source Print and Protect, or OPP for short.

Members of the organization met in the school parking lot to organize the face shields, ensuring a smoother distribution to each teacher. Mr. Crawford joined them in the parking lot to greet them personally and thank them for their help. The group went up to the school gates together where they handed off the face shields to Mr. Crawford for later distribution to the teachers.

The face shields were of the company’s original design and were produced with the team members’ 3D printers at home.

Company founder Kevin Gillespie explains that, “When quarantine began, I started messing around with my 3D printer and stumbled across different face shield designs. I noticed flaws in many of them, and decided to make my own with this taken into account.”

After finalizing his design, Gillespie gathered a team of students to help him accomplish his goals of putting the design to use in his community. The involved work and company awareness is delegated among the members of the team to create an efficient system. 

Internet Communications Manager Matthew Chan shares the team’s production and distribution process.

“Our custom-designed face shield frames are manufactured using additive 3D-printing,” he explains. “Our Distribution Manager, Shaden Nasr, arranges our donations by reaching out to and communicating with facilities that may be in short supply of face shields. Lastly, our Public Relations Manager, Rachel Gim, is in charge of sharing information pertaining to our organization via social media.”

Though this was an inspirational event, it was not the first for this team. For the past five months, OPP has been working to ensure a safer community during the pandemic. They have delivered over 3000 face shields to more than 70 different facilities, completely free of charge.

OPP doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Until the threat of the pandemic ceases, the team hopes to continue distributing face shields to essential workers.

Gillespie expresses, “We’re looking into donating to poll workers next, since the election is upcoming!” If you are interested in helping this organization make a difference, be sure to visit their site www.printandprotect.org and GoFundMe page www.gofundme.com/printandprotect.