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BAY MILLS TOWNSHIP, Mich — Students at a small Tribal college in Michigan are using 3D printing technology to produce reusable face masks for emergency workers in their area. A couple weeks ago, the advanced manufacturing program at Bay Mills Community College was asked to help with supplying eight local health organizations, according to Diverse reporter Sara Weissman.

The lightweight face shields will be sent to hospitals, police and fire departments, a volunteer ambulance station and a health center.  The students’ goal is to manufacture 150 masks per day, totalling 3,000 in a three-week period. Bay Mills Community College (BMCC), which is located in a northern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is working in cooperation with staff at Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District and Lake Superior State University. “People are just amazed at the roll-out of this,”  Dr. Christopher Griffen, technical director at the Great Lakes Composite Institute and an instructor at Bay Mills Community College, told Diverse. “We were able to really put this out fast … “[It took] “a lot of cooperation” [to get the masks] out the door and into the community as quickly as possible.”

BMCC, a tribally controlled community college and land grant institution, states it offers students a “culturally diverse environment that supports and maintains the Anishinaabek culture and language.”

According to its website, BMCC’s curriculum also “promotes preservation of the customs and beliefs of Native Americans” and is “designed to integrate traditional Native American values with higher education.”

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from RxDestroyer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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