Kingsport STEM program ‘Streamworks’ making face shields for Ballad Health


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Quintin Folkner is looking to do something wonderful.

“I enjoy doing this stuff, you know, 3-D printing, laser cutting, CAD, it’s what I like to do,” Folkner said.

He’s a senior at Dobyns-Bennett Excel, and a senior member of ‘STREAMWORKS.’

“We’re pretty much open six days a week just like Chick-Fil-A,” Folkner said jokingly. “So we do different robotic camps, we have students from D-B and mainly D-B Excel and local high schools and colleges.”

‘STREAMWORKS’ is an educational program in Kingsport, founded under Eastman, that focuses on STEM skills and also competes in robotics competitions.

“‘STREAMWORKS’ is where every kid can go pro so what we want to do is we want to make sure that kids understand the opportunities in STEM education,” founding director Dennis Courtney said.

But when Ballad Health, the top healthcare system in the Tri-Cities, asks them for help, they change their agenda a little bit.

“We’re very thankful that Alan Levine called us and said ‘hey can STREAMWORKS do this’ and we said absolutely,” Courtney said.

Ballad Health is in dire need of personal protective equipment for its healthcare workers on the front lines, so STREAMWORKS accessed a face shield model that has been used around the globe, and they got to work.

“Ballad came out and reached out to us and said they needed about 7,000 for all their employees to be protected so what we did is we took that number and that’s our goal and we’ve reached 1,000 already,” Folkner said.

Don’t underestimate these kids, they are motivated.

“It took us about 2 weeks it was an amazing achievement we’re hoping to get out about 500 a week,” Folkner said.

And they are making a difference in the best way they can.

“We started out just doing STEM education, before we all started we never thought we’d be making medical supplies and now we’re over here 3-D printing face shields and masks that are approved,” Folkner said.

You can find Michael Epps on Facebook and Twitter.

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