TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is making face shields during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Museum staff heard about a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and healthcare workers.
"We thought it would be our responsibility almost in helping out the community to start producing these and see where we could give them to help support first responders and the medical industry," said Rob Lamke, Chief Operating Officer at MOSI.
Currently, staff is working from home and producing face shields.
MOSI is donating face shields for free to Moffitt Cancer Center.
The museum also had a request to make face shields for the Tampa Museum of Art.
"They want to bring back staff as soon as they can and want to best protect their staff working together," said Lamke.
The Hillsborough County School District donated 3D printers to MOSI this week. It will help staff increase production.
"Anything we can produce is potentially anything that can be stockpiled and we do know with some of the 3D elements for personal protective equipment," said Lamke. "Some of it gets contaminated, some of it breaks, some of it gets lost so if we can have a vast supply of these elements, it's just going to strategically better position our community."
MOSI is currently closed to the public. Typically, the museum would see up to 1,000 visitors a day. The museum has provided educational tools on social media platforms like Facebook.
"It's just an additional way to engage the community and share our mission which is STEAM and STEM based education," said Lamke.
"It's been a silver lining in unprecedented times for us to find different channels that we're able to engage the community with. They've been so successful, we don't anticipate them disappearing once we return back to whatever our new normal is," said Lamke.
Lamke said the museum wants to reopen as soon as possible, but no exact date was given.