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‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ Student Video Contest Winners Announced

By Colin McEvoy on February 28, 2019

Nazareth Area Middle School students take to the stage at the What's So Cool About Manufacturing ceremony (photo credit Sahl Communications)

Nazareth Area Middle School students take to the stage at the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing ceremony (photo credit Sahl Communications)

More than 120,000 votes were cast in this year’s annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest, which challenged students from Lehigh Valley area school districts to create videos about regional manufacturing companies and learn about potential careers in the industry.

Over 900 people attended a ceremony at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem as the videos were displayed and the winners were announced, the culmination of 123,228 online votes over a three-day period.

“The student teams and teachers put an exceptional amount of work into this contest: meeting with manufacturers, filming and editing their projects,” says Jack Pfunder, President & CEO of Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), which organizes the regional contest.

MRC President Jack Pfunder speaking at the ceremony. (photo credit Sahl Communications)

MRC President & CEO Jack Pfunder speaking at the ceremony. (photo credit Sahl Communications)

“The growing success of this program across the state of Pennsylvania, and the country, validates its design, which is to raise awareness for manufacturing career opportunities for our students by letting them discover and explore the field,” Pfunder said. “Viewing and voting their videos online and feeling the pay-off of their hard work supports not only the students, but their schools and manufacturing in the region.”

Awards were presented in 12 different categories, and all the videos can be viewed here. The winner of Outstanding Overall Program was the Lower Macungie Middle School, for its video about Mack Trucks. The video can be seen below:

Most videos were reviewed by a panel of judges, while the video with the most votes received the “Viewers Choice Award.” That went to Springhouse Middle School for its video about Lutron Electronics, which can be seen below:

Other Lehigh Valley companies profiled in the videos included Crayola, B. Braun Medical, Martin Guitar, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Victaulic, Just Born, Nestle Waters, Follett Corporation, Bosch Rexroth, Sharp Packaging Solutions, Piramal Critical Care, and more.

The student videos shows what the manufacturers produce, how they make their products, and why the manufacturer is a great place to work. Twenty-six schools from the greater Lehigh Valley area participated this year.

The contest is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in Pennsylvania about advanced manufacturing careers. In December 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf provided MRC a $169,000 grant to help expand the initiative.

“Governor Wolf is always proud to support this video contest,” said Pennsylvania Executive Deputy Secretary Weaver. “It’s a great tool for our employers to directly interact with the people who will be working for them in a few years. This administration will continue to boost career and technical education and make sure students are equipped for the career opportunities in manufacturing that are available to them.”

Weaver said the contest aligns with Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, which in the governor’s current budget proposal calls for an additional $4 million to help Pennsylvania manufacturers train workers and $6 million to expand career and technical education.

“MRC lauds the administration’s commitment to create and expand the opportunities available in Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry,” Pfunder said. “Partnerships like ours are key to building the strongest workforce in the nation.”

The full list of this year’s winners can be found below:

  • Outstanding Overall Program: Lower Macungie Middle School – Mack Trucks
  • Outstanding Editing: Saucon Valley Middle School – Victaulic
  • Outstanding Creativity: Broughal Middle School – Piramal Critical Care
  • Outstanding “COOL”: Northampton Area Middle School – C. F. Martin & Co.
  • Outstanding Team Spirit: Northeast Middle School – Just Born Quality Confections
  • Outstanding Educational Value: Orefield Middle School – Ocean Spray Cranberries
  • Outstanding Videography: Nazareth Area Middle School – HindlePower
  • Viewers Choice: Springhouse Middle School – Lutron Electronics
  • Outstanding Outreach Plan: Southern Lehigh Middle School – IQE
  • Outstanding Career Pathway: (TIE) Lawrence B. Morris School – Heritage Sign Display AND Nitschmann Middle School – Stanley Black & Decker
  • Outstanding Brand Placement: Raub Middle School – Crayola
  • Sweet Manufacturing Cupcake Award Winner: Career Institute of Technology
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