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Tamaqua students learn manufacturing is cool

  • 17 news manufacturing contest.jpg
    Tamaqua Area Middle School students participating in the "What's So Cool About Manufacturing" contest sponsored by the Manufacturer's Resource Center, a subsidiary of Lehigh University, include: Randy Steigerwalt, Natalie Hydro, Riley Zeigenfuss, Molly Murphy and Nathan Wickersham. The team is coached by Mrs. Megan Frantz, eighth grade math teacher. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Published February 17. 2017 05:30AM

Eighth grade students from throughout the area are discovering that manufacturing jobs aren’t as boring as they may sound, thanks to the Manufacturers’ Resource Center’s student “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” video contest.

Now in its fourth year, the contest challenges eighth grade students to visit a local manufacturer, then create a two minute video demonstrating what’s cool and exciting about the business and the careers it offers. This year will be the second time that students from the Tamaqua Area Middle School will be participating. The five member team will be highlighting Highwood USA.

Last year, the Tamaqua team won the best Marketing Plan Award.

Tamaqua’s team is composed of Natalie Hydro, Molly Murphy, Randy Steigerwalt, Nathan Wickersham and Riley Zeigenfuss. Eighth grade math teacher Megan Frantz serves as mentor/coach for the team.

Zeigenfuss says the project “is a great learning experience, for both me and whoever will see our movie. I think this was a great opportunity to learn more about manufacturing and how it works.”

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Contest is designed to introduce middle school students to the wide variety of career paths in the advanced manufacturing sector. Students, armed with a GoPro camera, personally visit the business they select and learn about the facility, products, technology and employees. Their talents are then turned toward creating a video designed to share their knowledge. PBS station 39 will provide professional coaching on video editing.

Murphy learned “numerous things from the video project. I learned you can take simple items and turn them into more complex items.”

Hydro says she learned about “the important role of manufacturing in our society. Without manufacturing, we would not be able to do many things.” She especially like the Highwood USA tour.

Steigerwalt also enjoyed the visit to Highwood. “I enjoyed seeing the products being made from start to finish and how teamwork means a lot in manufacturing. Team work makes the dream work”.

Wickersham noted “Manufacturing is more than just building something. You have to go through a process that takes skill to accomplish”.

Voting for the video contest will run from March 1 to March 3 at The Tamaqua team is registered under the Berks/Schuylkill link. There is no limit to the number of votes a person can cast.

The Tamaqua team will host a “Premiere” night, from 3 to 8 p.m. on March 2 in the Tamaqua Area Middle School Library. The public will have the opportunity to view their video, as well as those created by the other competing teams. Computers will be available for voting.

An awards ceremony will be held at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading on March 7.

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