On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) student video program will conclude its seventh season with the “Best of PA” Statewide Awards Event. Due to the unprecedented challenges presented by social distancing, this year’s event will stream ‘live from home’ on YouTube, and will include 22 teams competing for first, second and third place awards.
A five judge panel, representing eastern, central and western Pennsylvania, viewed 22 entries, representing 13 regional contests across Pennsylvania, to select the statewide award recipients.
“We are so proud of the students and so excited we will still be able to celebrate the Best of PA videos, even with all that is going on,” said Karen Buck, Manager of Workforce Initiatives Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC). “The continued success of the What’s So Cool program validates its value to both STEM and STEAM education and really highlights the necessity for these initiatives, both statewide and nationwide, to help plan for a robust economic future.”
The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest, which originated in the Lehigh Valley and is the brainchild of MRC, has garnered over 3,000,000 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 technology, 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 Commonwealth. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students toward considering manufacturing career paths to create a 21st century workforce.
This season’s original 16 participating regional contests in Pennsylvania were Berks Schuylkill, Central Susquehanna, Chester Delaware, Lehigh Valley, North Central, Northeast, Northern Tier, Northwest, Philadelphia Region, Pittsburgh Central, Pittsburgh East, Pittsburgh North, Pittsburgh South, PA Forest & Oil, South Central, and West Central.
Funding for the regional pilot contests is provided by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development. Funding for the statewide Awards show is provided by Platinum Sponsor: Nestlé Waters North America, Gold Sponsors: PA Manufacturing Extension Partnership and RETTEW, and Silver Sponsors: Catalyst Connection, MANTEC and Chester County Economic Development Council. Regional Program Partners: Catalyst Connection, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Chester County Economic Development Council, Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, Innovative Manufacturers’ Center, Manufacturers Resource Center, MANTEC, North Central Workforce Development Board, Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission, Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, NWIRC, and The Foundation of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce.