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Pictured from left: JMHS Fab Lab teacher TJ Romick delivered the face shields he made to Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest. They are standing in front of boxes filled with face shields while holding one each.
Pictured from left: JMHS Fab Lab teacher TJ Romick delivered the face shields he made to Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest.

Wednesday morning at the Marshall County Courthouse, John Marshall High School teacher TJ Romick dropped off the 250 face shields he made in the school’s MIT certified Fab Lab. Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest contacted Romick about making the safeguards.

While Pest says Marshall County poll officials won’t be required to wear face coverings on Election Day, they can if they choose. “Masks will also be available, but I wanted to make sure there was another option for our workers when voters head to the polls on Tuesday, June 9th,” Pest explained.

Each face shield is made of one laminating pouch, a small piece of weather stripping, acrylic plastic and a few dabs of hot glue. “Most of the materials I used are not in high demand right now, like some others, because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Romick. “It took me about 10 hours to make all of them.”

“I really appreciate what TJ and the school have done to help us provide an alternative to our poll workers,” Pest continued. “The shields turned out great.”

“I’m always happy to be able to help out in the community when asked,” Romick said about the project.

John Marshall High School’s Fab Lab was the first and remains the only MIT certified digital fabrication maker space in the state of West Virginia.

A Fab Lab is designed to expand students’ skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and provides teachers the tools to engage students. Fab Lab lessons encourage students to be creative and learn to problem solve while realizing there are several ways to complete a task.

Romick and his students began using the facility in August 2017. Since then, Fab Lab classes offered have been preparing students for careers in Engineering and jobs in the Career & Technical Education field.

The John Marshall High School Fab Lab maker space was funded entirely by grants.