ABOUT THE CONTESTS
The annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contests excite students to explore cool manufacturing careers and produce profiles of companies throughout Pennsylvania. Judges in each regional contest bestow a variety of awards, and each contest features an online vote at WhatsSoCool.org for its Viewers Choice Award.
Created by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown, PA in 2013, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? contests draw entries from nearly 200 teams across Pennsylvania. The teams of students and teacher coaches receive camera equipment, software, and professional guidance as they learn to script, record, and edit their video stories. The contest’s objective is to change students’ perceptions about manufacturing careers.
The What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? contests are supported regionally by their sponsors and partners. Production support is provided for several of the contests by PBS39 Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, PA. There were 12 regional contests held in Pennsylvania during the 2017-2018 school year. These contests involved students from 39 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties – a combined area that represents more than 9 million of the state’s 12.7 million residents. The contest format also has been adopted by groups in 11 additional states.
CREATION OF THE CONTESTS
Funds to develop the contests were provided in 2013 by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s “Discovered in PA, Developed in PA” program for an MRC project called Lehigh Valley Skill-Up. Original Skill-Up project partners were the MRC, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI), the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, and the Da Vinci Science Center.