Educators across the state are banning together to use 3D printers from their classrooms and supplies from their closets to make PPE for front line health care workers.

In Marquette, Marquette Area Public Schools Science Teacher Becky LaBrecque reached out to area educators to help start a movement called Yooper Makers United. Later they renamed to Michigan Makers United as educators, business owners, and community members from all over the state started to join in to help organizations around Michigan.

All supplies must be donated for this project. Plastic filament, shield material, foam tape, elastic, and super glue were all needed. Also, 3D printers are not inexpensive and this project had many people running their machines around the clock which cause a lot of wear and tear. Many teachers are left with repairs to make and lack of funding to replace supplies. Donations are needed. Some grants are available, but in many cases teachers just do not have time or skills to write grants. Donations are the quickest way to get what is needed. The programs that really succeed in Michigan schools are the ones with strong financial support and passionate, skilled, and committed teachers in the lead!

Here is an incomplete list of some of the education programs that contributed to the collection in the Upper Peninsula. There are definitely others involved not listed here. We encourage you to support education and innovation in your local district. Reach out to them for info about how you can donate. Or help support one of these amazing programs!

The MAPS Makerspace at Marquette Area Public Schools has lead this cause for Marquette County, producing over 40% of the total shields produced by this group. Donations can be made to the MAPS Makerspace here. Select “Makerspace Fund” when donating.

Republic-Michigamme Schools has been a strong partner in this project. In a K-12 school of only 120 students, one may not expect to find much in the way of a shop, skilled trades lab, or makerspace. But you would be wrong. Teacher Matthew Barbercheck has created an awesome program with what he has available. You can support his efforts at, or contact Mr. Barbercheck directly at [email protected].

Ishpeming Schools have also been working hard to support the Upper Peninsula’s needs for PPE. Technology Director Jason Annala has been working with his family from home to run his school’s 3D printers. You can donate to their program by clicking here!

Negaunee Public Schools certainly could not be left out! Teacher Kevin Bell was happy to jump on the mission to help the crew! If you would like to support Negaunee Schools 3D printing program email Kevin Bell at [email protected] for more details.

Northern Michigan University had several professors and faculty involved. Joe Routhier from NMU Engineering Technology, Chris Standerford from the MISTEM network, Daric Christian and Peter Pless from NMU Art & Design were just some of the people who helped out. You can donate to NMU programs by reaching out to [email protected].

Breitung Township Schools stepped up to help fill the needs of Dickinson County Healthcare workers! Teacher Justin Cowen leads the cause there. You can reach out to Justin via email at [email protected].

Many other schools stepped up to help as well. Gwinn Area Community Schools and Munising Schools also made 3D printed face shields. You can reach out to either school to make donations to their programs.

Just a few of the educators involved in this project!

Leave a Reply