With nearly 130,000 online votes, 30 teams and more than 900 people in attendance at the awards ceremony, this year’s Lehigh Valley “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing?” program proved to be the biggest yet.
In its fifth year, the program has expanded across Pennsylvania, giving students the opportunity to tour local manufacturing facilities to create videos of what it’s like to work there.
Proponents of the program, created by Manufacturers Resource Center and partners PBS39 and Sahl Communications, hosted the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at ArtsQuest at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.
“Our videos keep getting better,” said Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of MRC. “Special effects are just off the charts.”
These effects included everything from digital puzzle pieces that had videos within them to a video of a T-shirt that shoots out of a device and lands directly on a worker.
The video with the most online votes earned the Viewers’ Choice Award. A panel of judges reviewed the videos for awards in nine other categories.
This year’s award winners:
• Outstanding Videography: Springhouse Middle School and Crayola.
• Outstanding Editing: Lower Macungie Middle School and ProtoCAM.
• Outstanding Creativity: Saucon Valley Middle School and Solar Technologies.
• Outstanding COOL: (Tie) Raub Middle School and Dynalene; East Hills Middle School and Piramal Critical Care.
• Outstanding Team Spirit: Wilson Area Intermediate School and Victaulic.
• Outstanding Educational Value: (Tie) Broughal Middle School and Eastern Surfaces, and Palmerton Area Junior High School and KME.
• Outstanding Marketing Plan: Nazareth Area Middle School and Equipto.
• Outstanding Career Pathway: Whitehall-Coplay Middle School and Follett Corp.
• Viewers’ Choice: Northampton Area Middle School and B. Braun Medical Inc.
• Outstanding Overall Program: Northeast Middle School and Atlas Machining & Welding Inc.
The program has hit an important milestone at five years, said Karen Buck, manager of workforce initiatives at MRC and a key leader in the video contest program. She recognized the teacher-coaches who have participated in the program every year since it began.
The Lehigh Valley contest is open to students in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties.
The second annual “Cupcake War” competition ended the program with a dessert reception.
Students from several local vocational and technical schools provided the cupcake displays and competed, from Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Career Institute of Technology and Lehigh Career & Technical Institute. Carlo’s Bakery in Bethlehem also participated.
LCTI won the Sweet Manufacturing Display award, and CIT won the Sweet Manufacturing Cupcake award.