Middle schoolers recognized in state-wide ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest

Stacy Wescoe//May 19, 2022

Middle schoolers recognized in state-wide ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest

Stacy Wescoe//May 19, 2022

Students participate in the statewide ’What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest. PHOTO/SUMBITTED –

“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” has announced the award recipients for the annual “Best of PA” Statewide Awards Event.  

The awards show was held at Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. The contest included 22 student teams competing for first, second and third place awards, as well as a Viewer’s Choice award. 

 Organized by the Manufacturers Resource Center of the Lehigh Valley, which began the first regional event, a A five-judge panel, representing eastern, central, and western Pennsylvania, viewed the 22 entries, which represented eight regional contests across Pennsylvania and a total of 113 student videos, to select the statewide award recipients. 

The goal of the annual contests is to get middle school students interested in careers in manufacturing. 

 “All of the student teams worked so hard on their videos and had memorable interaction with their manufacturing partners, and we are so excited and proud to celebrate the Best of PA videos,” said Karen Buck, manager of Workforce Initiatives Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) and WSCM Statewide program manager. “The continued success of the What’s So Cool program validates its effort to promote manufacturing career pathways and STEM (Science Technology and Math) and CTE (Career Technical Education) statewide and nationwide, and to help plan for a robust economic future.” 

 First place went to Eyer Middle School in Macungie, which produced a video featuring BlueTriton Brands. 

Second place went to Northeast Middle School in Bethlehem, which produced a video featuring Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. 

Third place was a tie between Conrad Weiser Middle School in Robesonia, which featured F.M. Brown’s Sons Inc. and Bangor Area Middle School, which featured L&M Fabrication & Machine. 

Springhouse Middle School in South Whitehall Township, which featured Stanley Black & Decker, was recognized for garnering the largest number of regional vote totals across the state, during three days of online voting where all Pennsylvania teams competed to win their regional Viewer’s Choice Award. 

 The student video contest has garnered over 3 million combined votes by the public during regional online voting dates since its inception in 2013, and more than 50% of Pennsylvania school districts have participated in the program. 

The WSCM Student Video Contest gives students the opportunity to interact with local manufacturers as they gain new perspectives about careers and advanced manufacturing technologies, record their experiences, and present them in an educational and “cool” way through documentary video production.  

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” program includes a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved lesson plan that is in use across the state.