Hemet siblings use pandemic shutdown time to make face shields, set up tutoring program

These Southland siblings are utilizing their STEM skills during the COVID-19 pandemic to make face shields and tutor others.
HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- A Riverside County sister and brother are showing the power of community by making face shields and creating a tutoring network.

Like many students, Western Center Academy students in Hemet haven't seen the inside of a classroom in months. But Arnauld and Ariana Martinez are staying busy and giving back. Together they've printed, assembled and donated over 55-hundred face shields.

"So we reached out to our school and asked our principal if we could borrow one of their 3-D printers. He let us borrow four! So he really believed in our idea," said Arnauld. "And also we're co-captains of the robotics team for First Tech Challenge so I was able to use some of the skills I obtained from the robotics team to modify g-code files for the face shield."
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That modification cut down the time it takes for a machine to make one of these shields from an hour and a half to just 30 minutes. As for their supplies: it's all been donated.

But helping others through their love for STEM - or Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics -- doesn't end with the masks.

"When the new school year started we realized that most kids would have a lot of trouble bridging the gap between in person and online so we thought that starting a tutoring service would be great," said Ariana.

Now, seven tutors are teaching small groups of up to four students biweekly. And the service is completely free.
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"It's just an amazing service because I love to see their faces when two things connect," said Arnauld.

One tutoring client says he started understanding things better with Arnauld's help.

"Stuff started clicking, he was able to describe it one by one, step by step. I'm able to learn more from him and I can through the tutoring ask more questions," said George Bagdady.

The work for the Martinez siblings is piling up, and the school year has only just begun.

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Eyewitness News scoured Southern California for a look at how some schools are balancing health and safety with education.

For the latest news on back to school and educational resources, visit abc7.com/backtoschool.
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