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Robotics Team Makes 3D-Printed Ear Savers
Robotics Team Makes 3D-Printed Ear Savers
Posted on 05/19/2020
A collage showing Rachel White, William David, and Corbin Duncan, along with the ear savers and medical workers.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Nesbitt Discovery Academy (NDA) freshman Rachel White and her multi-school robotics team have stepped up to make much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), putting their education to use and demonstrating leadership to their peers.

White’s First Robotics Competition team, GLITCH, consists of public, private, and religious school students connected by a love of technology, robotics, and service. They build a robot each year and compete at regional, state, and world competitions. They also use every opportunity they can to reach out to their community.

“Yes, we build robots, but we also do a lot of community service,” White said. “We have over 7,000 community service hours among the club this year. Every member of the team is really committed to it.”

As the COVID-19 crisis deepened across America, GLITCH heard about a Boy Scout in Canada who started using his 3D printer to make ear savers – which hold face masks at the back of the head to make them more comfortable.

“We were like, ‘hey this is a good idea,’ White said. “We thought we could use this design that was conveniently there and use the resources they have.’”

She and the other two club outreach leads – Christ School’s William David and Asheville High’s Corbin Duncan – found an existing design and started connecting those who could make the ear savers with those who needed them. So far, their club has produced and delivered more than 1,300 ear savers to Mission Health, Asheville Women’s Medical Center, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and AdventHealth in Hendersonville.

“We’re blessed to have students who get really involved,” said NDA Project Lead the Way teacher Adam Bachmeyer. “The school both draws and fosters brilliant kids. They’re involved with identifying problems in the world, connecting those to their passions, and working on skills to solve them.”

White and students like her have suddenly become design engineers, project leads, and supply chain managers, all while still tackling their daily assignments for school, he added.

“We’re super proud of Rachel and all she’s doing in addition to her school work,” said NDA Principal Heather Brookshire. “I’m completely amazed. Kids are making a difference in their world.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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