Dream It. Do It. PA

Dream It. Do It. PA Kicks Off Year Three of ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’

Partnership Continues Movement to Generate Excitement Over Manufacturing Careers Program Expands Across the State

The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) – lead partner of the Dream It. Do It. PA coalition – is proud to announce the third year of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?(WSCM) student video contest in the Lehigh Valley area.

Presented by Dream It. Do It. PA (DIDI PA), the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest gives eighth graders from more than 25 school districts in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Schuylkill counties the opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way through film media. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths. This year, there are 30 student teams partnered with 30 area manufacturing companies. This expansion reflects the tremendous efforts DIDI PA and MRC have put forth in the community.

“We are very pleased to launch WSCM for the its third year here in the Lehigh Valley,” said Jack Pfunder, Executive Director of MRC, while in the newly refurbished Technology Hall at Northampton Community College. “The program’s success is spreading across the state of PA and around the country. The program, which promotes STEM education, helps foster a new understanding of opportunities in manufacturing careers. We are very grateful to our teaming partners at PBS39, Da Vinci Science Center, and Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, who help make this program a success.”

Armed with a GoPro camera, teacher coach, specific guidelines, curiosity and creativity, each team will tour its respective manufacturer’s location and interview employees to gain a primary understanding of that field. The teams will then take their footage and translate what they find to be cool about that manufacturing company or industry into a short video. Training videos that were created last year for educators are Emmy award winning.

“STEM education is important to ensure that all students in Pennsylvania have every opportunity for success,” said Teri Haddad, Ed.D., Vice President of Production and Education for PBS39. “PBS39 is proud to collaborate with the Manufacturers Resource Center and local companies who commit time, energy, and resources for the success of students.

The students’ video submissions will be posted on DIDI PA’s website and YouTube channel. The videos will be open to the public for voting in mid-February for the Viewer’s Choice Award, and judges will determine best videos in a variety of other categories. At the end of February, students, parents, educators, manufacturing leaders, community sponsors, local legislators, and project partners will gather for an award ceremony to announce and acknowledge winning teams. Last year, over 110,000 votes were cast during the three-day period. Last year’s video submissions are available for viewing on DIDI PA’s website.

Prior to the commencement of the video contest, MRC and DIDI PA celebrated Manufacturing Day throughout the month of October to highlight the many benefits of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry to its students and residents. In honor of manufacturing, MRC and DIDI PA arranged for 600 high school students to visit 13 manufacturers in the Lehigh Valley.

Two manufacturing organizations also hosted visits from Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera and Congressman Charles W. Dent. The two met with local high school students at these facilities. DIDI PA also announced their Dream Team, a group of young STEM professionals representing the advanced manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania. These members were selected from area companies to share their stories with students in hopes to inspire them to consider careers in manufacturing.

The WSCM campaign was started under DIDI PA, the public platform for the manufacturing career awareness partnership led by MRC. This year partners include PBS 39, GoPro, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, the Da Vinci Science Center and career and technical schools and community colleges in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.

About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing”

“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” is a student manufacturing video contest for schools in the Lehigh Valley, including schools in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties presented by Dream It. Do It. Pennsylvania. This contest gives students the opportunity to connect with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths.

About Dream It. Do It. PA

Dream It. Do It. PA is a partnership directed by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown, Pa., and is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in the Keystone State about advanced manufacturing careers. Dream It. Do It. PA started in 2013 as an effort called Lehigh Valley Skill Up to raise awareness in the Lehigh Valley area. The popularity of the partnership’s flagship student video contests and its rights to the national Dream It. Do It. brand for Pennsylvania have enabled it to expand its reach throughout the commonwealth. Dream It. Do It. PA provides resources for Pennsylvania’s students, parents, educators, and manufacturers on the web at dreamitdoitpa.com, coordinates activities for students and educators in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley region, produces the annual Dream It. Do It. PA Lehigh Valley Student Video Contest, and supports efforts of coalitions from other Pennsylvania regions to host video contests and promote advanced manufacturing careers. The Dream It. Do It. PA partnership evolved from a special Lehigh Valley Manufacturing Summit held in Aug. 2011 by the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, Pa. Original funding was furnished by grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Additional Lead Partners for Dream It. Do It. PA include the Da Vinci Science Center; Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) in Schnecksville, Pa.; PBS39 Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.; Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School (BAVTS) in Bethlehem, Pa.; Career Institute of Technology (CIT) in Easton, Pa; and Carbon Career & Technical Institute (CCTI) in Jim Thorpe, Pa.

State and Lehigh Valley Region Manager

Karen Buck
Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), Allentown, Pa.