A little ingenuity goes a long way

TIPP CITY — Touchless hand sanitizing stations are found in abundance around the Tipp City school district, all thanks to the work of a group of Miami County Boy Scouts.

“The school was going to have to the teachers sanitize the top of the bottles after they used the sanitizer, so instead of them having to do that, we built the sanitizing stations,” Tippecanoe seventh grader Drake Burkett said.

The scouts who worked together to build the touchless hand sanitizing stations are Tippecanoe students and members of Troop 413 Drake, James Burkett, Jacob Farris, Brighton Li, Thad Clune, Troy student Gabe Long, and Bethel student Kade Bryce. Bethel student Trent Schweikhardt of Troop 395 and four Webelos-level scouts also helped with the stations. With PVC pipe donations from Butler Heating and Air Conditioning in Dayton, Woods System LLC in Piqua, and Cloverleaf LLC in Springfield as well as discounts from Home Depot and Winsupply in Piqua, the boys were able to build 74 stands for Tipp City Schools, 34 stands for Miami County ESC, and two stands for the Tipp City Enrichment Program.

“We had to do some preparation beforehand. I know it took us about two hours to buy the first set of materials, and about three hours to get the first one built and ready, so it took about five hours for that,” Jacob said.

The scouts started working on their ideas for the sanitizing stations a couple of months before school started, and after presenting their idea to Tipp City Schools Superintendent Mark Stefanik at a board of education meeting, they began making the finalized version of the stations.

“Jacob came to the board office and showed his idea to our superintendent. He was impressed with the Troop’s ingenuity, craftsmanship, and work ethic. The scout’s presentation was professional and quite good,” Tipp City School Community Relations Coordinator Liz Robbins said. “The timing was impeccable, as it was difficult obtaining touchless sanitizing stations for the start of school.”

The stations at Tipp City Schools are placed in hallways, classrooms and other common areas, and the scouts have seen them in use frequently. For them, seeing their teachers and classmates get use out of the touchless hand sanitizing stations has been the most rewarding part of the project.

“It definitely makes me feel proud of this project, because if it wasn’t for us, they wouldn’t get the opportunity to do this kind of thing. They’d have to touch it, and they might get germs on it. But we put our hearts and teamwork and effort into it and we made this project happen, and everybody gets to use it,” Brighton said. “I’m very proud of this project, I’m very proud of this team and I’m very proud of everything we did.”