Teacher from New Jersey wins new Mazda for 3D printing thousands of PPE

RANDOLPH, New Jersey (WABC) -- During the worst of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, a teacher in New Jersey worked tirelessly from his living room to help keep healthcare workers safe.

And now he's being honored for his work.

A middle school shop teacher from New Jersey was one of three winners of the "Mazda Heroes: Honoring the Human Spirit" program.

He was nominated by his wife for the award.

"Locals were desperate for great, my husband borrowed 3D printers, hooked them up in the living room, made it a factory," she explained.

He produced 12,000 pieces of PPE for frontline workers.

The winners were announced on "Good Morning America" and given a Mazda MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Special Edition as a "thank you" for their efforts.

Jason Erdreich of Randolph gathered a team of people with 3D printers to help make more than 12,000 pieces of PPE and other cost-effective equipment needed for shifting to back-to-school teaching environments.

While students were remote learning, Jason designed STEM classes for the online format and offered them at little or no charge, in addition to reworking his own typical classes.

Mazda awarded cars to 50 heroes like Erdreich, who is a hero first to his students.

"Our actual classroom technology to solve problems and make a difference was a huge demonstration of what our students are learning and inspired me to keep doing more," Erdreich said.

The other winners included Christie Purviance, an ICU nurse in Houston, Texas, and Triana Davis, a teacher from Mississippi.

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