EDMONTON -- The Ardrossan based Cyber Eagles are a smart bunch. The high school students were supposed to be in Houston, Texas this month for a major robotics competition. Instead, the Eagles are doing their part to help workers from hospitals and seniors facilities.

“We have this 3D printer, is there things we could do in our community we could do to help and support our front line workers?” asked head coach Dean Kennedy. 

What they came up with was bottle holders for hand sanitizers and face mask ear savers. 

With their long anticipated World Championships in Texas cancelled, the club started producing thousands of those items to help in the battle against COVID-19. 

“We quickly realized we needed more help so we recruited four other printers through contacts in community and colleagues at work,” added Kennedy. 

What started with a single printer grew to four. Now, 17 printers across Strathcona County have printed more than 7,000 aptly named “ear savers” for front line workers. 

“Their ears are literally bleeding from wearing masks for their entire shift. So if we can provide them with some level of comfort while they work it makes their performance better on the job”

Thanks in part to funds donated by Dow Canada, the printers are now producing 3,000 ear savers every week. Kennedy knows they’ll be put to good use. 

“We’ve been getting requests from as far away as Athabasca and Smoky Lake for these items so we’re continuing to make them as fast as we can.”

His students also learned a good lesson about making the best of a disappointing situation.

“Do you stop, or do you find something else that you can do, and that’s the message we wanted our students to learn just because we can’t go the direction we wanted to go there are other things more important than that and that’s helping our communities.”