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It’s almost time for voting in annual student video contest across the region

As spring approaches, so too, does voting for the annual student video contest “What’s so Cool About Manufacturing?”

Originally developed in 2013 by the Manufacturers Resource Center for students in the Lehigh Valley, the video-based educational tool provides seventh- and eighth-grade students with a unique opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers as they develop, shoot, edit and produce a cool video to document their experiences.

The program increases awareness of career paths and technology in manufacturing through peer marketing. Since its inception, it has been replicated in local contests across Pennsylvania and adopted in seven additional states.

For this year’s competition, student teams in 12 regions across Pennsylvania have been partnering with manufacturers to learn about the companies and create videos that will compete first in regional contests, then in the annual statewide awards in Harrisburg.

Kutztown's team, pictured at the What's So Cool About Manufacturing Berks Schuylkill Student Video Contest awards banquet with their advisor Aaron Ashman, worked with EasyPak LLC., a Reading-based manufacturer of stock and custom designed plastic thermoformed packaging products. (Submitted photo)
It will soon be time to vote in the 2024 What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” student video contest. In this file photo, Kutztown’s team is shown at a previous Berks Schuylkill contest awards banquet. (MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO)

Since its inception, the contest has garnered more than 4 million combined votes by the public during regional online voting. According to the Manufacturers Resource Center, more than 60% of school districts in Pennsylvania have participated in the program.

In Berks and Schuylkill counties, the 2024 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” Student Video Contest is marking its eighth year, and is produced by the Manufacturers Resource Center. This year, teams from 26 Berks and Schuylkill schools have been matched with manufacturers to produce their video submissions.

All of the Berks and Schuylkill videos will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website, whatssocool.org/contests/berks-schuylkill/, and will be open to the public for online voting April 8 to 10.

Voting will be open to contest participants and the public, who may vote for more than one video and as often as they wish. The winner will be announced during the Berks Schuylkill Awards event on April 15 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading.

In Chester and Delaware counties, the 2024 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” Student Video Contest is produced by the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware counties. This year, teams from nine schools have been matched with manufacturers to produce their video submissions.

The videos will be posted to the What’s So Cool website, whatssocool.org/contests/chester-delaware/, and will be open to the public for online voting March 20 to 22. The winner will be announced during the Chester Delaware awards event on April 10 at Penn State Great Valley in Malvern.

The contest for the Philadelphia region — which includes Montgomery County — is produced by the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center. This year, teams from 10 schools have been matched with manufacturers to produce their video submissions.

All the videos will be posted to the What’s So Cool website, whatssocool.org/contests/philly/, and will be open to the public for online voting March 11 to 13. The winners will be announced during the Philadelphia region awards event on March 21 at Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center in Blue Bell.

In May, a Best of PA event will feature videos from contests throughout the state. A national panel of judges will select Pennsylvania’s top three videos. In addition, the team that receives the highest number of votes per day during the contest period will be recognized with the state Viewers Choice award.

Last year, two Berks schools placed among the top three in the statewide competition. Boyertown Middle School West won second place in the competition for its video that featured R.M. Palmer Co., while Conrad Weiser Middle School won third place for its video featuring John F. Martin & Sons LLC.


Source: Berkshire mont

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