AURORA, Ohio (WJW) — Four Aurora high school students are playing an important part in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine storage system.
The students are volunteering their time to make part of a crucial sensor used to transport the vaccine.
“I was really interested and excited for it because it sounded like an interesting volunteering opportunity,” said Aiden Sexton, who is a sophomore.
The 15-year-old is one of four Aurora High School students who have been volunteering their time since last summer to make part of the refrigeration system used for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I pretty much take a wire and wrap it around a tube three times and zip tie both ends,” said Sexton.
That part is then sent to Blaze Technical Industries in Stow for manufacture.
“We actually make the temperature sensor that goes into the device that has the GPS tracking and temperature tracking. It even tracks how many times the box was opened. Our sensor then goes to the manufacturer of electronics,” said Ralph Hickman, CEO and President of Blaze Technical Industries.
Blaze was awarded the sole contract in producing this part for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Determined to keep production in Northeast Ohio, Hickman reached out to Mobility Worldwide, a non-profit that uses space in the Blaze building.
One of their volunteers just so happened to be Aiden’s science club coach who asked if any students would be interested in volunteering.
“And it’s meaning something. I say to the people manufacturing, for every one sensor they make, that’s 5,000 vaccines,” said Hickman.
And now, the demand is greater than ever. Blaze currently makes 2,000 sensors a day. However, they are ramping up production to 3,000 a day starting next week.
“I was a typical high school student. I would do homework and then play video games for three hours. But to be able to spend my time doing something helpful and more productive is amazing,” said Sexton.
Aiden and the other students are committed to making 50 parts a week. He said he will continue volunteering until the contract is done.