Lights Camera Action!

The stage was set as six teams of enthusiastic middle school students from Cocalico, Ephrata Area, Gerald Hueskin (Conestoga Valley), Martin Meylin (Lampeter Strasburg), Marticville (Penn Manor), and Pequea Valley began a journey last fall to a place they had never been before. Equipped with cameras, curiosity, and creativity, they accepted their mission: to learn “what’s so cool about manufacturing?”

Before stepping foot on to the production floor, however, the students learned about the industry and researched their assigned manufacturer. With this newfound knowledge, they embarked on a behind-the-scenes adventure, filming operations, conducting interviews, and gaining insights directly from industry professionals.

Upon returning to the classroom, the real magic began as the students meticulously pieced together their footage, refining hours of material into a concise two-minute video that answered the question: “what’s so cool about manufacturing?” The result? A showcase of imagination, creativity, and hard work.

On March 20, the South Central PA WSCM Regional Awards Event provided the stage for these budding filmmakers to shine. Among the 14 entries, Pequea Valley Intermediate School emerged victorious, receiving the “Outstanding Overall” award for their video highlighting Savencia Fromage & Dairy. Ephrata Area Middle School captured the “Outstanding Creativity” award with their compelling portrayal of Weaver Industries, while Gerald G. Huesken Middle School clinched the “Outstanding Career Pathway” accolade for their spotlight on High Steel University. Other Lancaster County schools and manufacturers included: Marticville Middle (Penn Manor)/FASTSigns, Cocalico/High Concrete, and Martin Meylin (Lampeter Strasburg)/Stryten Energy. Pequea Valley Intermediate School, Ephrata Area Middle School, and ELCO Middle School in Lebanon County will represent our region at the state competition on May 15 at Whitaker Center in Harrisburg! The videos of all participating teams can be found here.

Thanks to the support of sponsors and foundations, this program comes at no cost to schools. MANTEC, one of seven Industrial Resource Centers in Pennsylvania, coordinates the South Central PA regional contest, which includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties.

This initiative serves as a turnkey manufacturing career exploration program. With a curriculum that is aligned with PA standards, students not only gain a firsthand experience that can change their career trajectory, but they can also earn an “artifact” for their career exploration requirements. Teachers may obtain Act 148 credits. Meanwhile, manufacturers have an opportunity to engage with potential future talent and build goodwill. Truly, it’s a win-win-win-win scenario for all involved!

Registration is now open for schools and manufacturers eager to learn how to join the ranks of next year’s contenders. Interested? School representatives click here. Manufacturers click here.

Questions? Contact Cindi Moses at

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