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Hometown Hero | Nathan Dever

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 11:27 PM EDT
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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) - Typically college students use their summer break to relax or go on a trip, but one small group of Shawnee State University students has been spending much of their free time in a lab, dedicating hour after hour to help others get through the pandemic safely.

Students in the plastics engineering technology program have spent their time off making Personal Protective Equipment for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nathan Dever, a student from Minford, started the project wanting to help protect workers in the medical field.

“It’s always made me happy to be able to help people,” Dever said. “When this first started, we had nurses and doctors show up to get the shields, and you could see the relief on their faces when they saw PPE was here.”

They started out donating face shields locally. Demand for their product has surpassed anything they ever imagined, and they’ve gotten requests from as far away as Columbus and Indiana.

Since March, they’ve made thousands of face shields.

Professor and department chair Adam Miller says he’s incredibly proud of his students for putting in the time and effort to make a difference during the national crisis.

“To see students like this take charge and take initiative and give back to the community is something that’s inspiring to me and is something we desire to be as an institution,” Miller said.

Once the fall semester starts and these students have less free time, they hope to recruit some of their classmates to help out with the project. They say they want to keep it going as long as there’s a demand.

They’re now charging for their face shields, but just so they break even. They’re not making a profit. Industry partners supply the school with materials to make the face shields.

Dever says they’ve gotten an order for 1,100 of them for the Minford school district and 500 more for New Boston schools.

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