Northwest State Community College faculty in Archbold are universally busy, deftly making adjustments to course delivery to continue providing education for students in the new remote-learning environment.
Some faculty in the STEM and Industrial Technologies division have answered the call to serve the community in another critical way. Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton recently advised Ohioans of the oncoming shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders, in the face of COVID-19. In particular, items such as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, and face shields were noted.
During a recent faculty conference through Ohio TechNet, NSCC STEM and Industrial Tech faculty members Dave Mohring and Colin Doolittle began exchanging design concepts for face shields, using 3D printing technology. Because the Archbold campus is technically on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they took turns starting a print batch, then clearing the beds to begin a new batch.
Doolittle noted the STEM team was contacted by a representative at Bryan Hospital. “(The individual) inquired whether or not we had the ability to make face shields. I had read about similar projects online, did some quick research, and we began working on it.”
Doolittle and Mohring developed a design that would fit the college’s current machine capabilities. They are currently producing the shield head bracket on the printers, and will be completing full masks once materials are available some time this week. They rotate time in the lab to limit exposure to one another.
“We have a unique opportunity to give back to the community during this difficult time,” Doolittle said. “It gives us a great sense of pride to give back to our community. Our medical professionals are on the frontlines of this fight. It is an honor to help them any way we can.”
NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson added, “NSCC’s mission is to strengthen communities. In these unique times, we are blessed with a faculty and staff using their innovation and ingenuity to serve northwest Ohio in ways that our community needs right now. Whether it’s serving learners remotely, creating needed PPE or being an overflow medical unit, NSCC remains committed to doing our part.”
A news release from Gov. DeWine’s office noted that taking care of a COVID-19 patient in intensive care for a 24-hour shift requires 36 pairs of gloves, 14 gowns, three pairs of goggles, and 13 N-95 face masks.