Manufacturing News

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?

By NH Sector Partnerships | May 1, 2018
What’s So Cool About Manufacturing winners

Students in New Hampshire Are Exposed to Advanced Manufacturing Through Statewide Video Contest

New Hampshire students were recently given the opportunity to explore advanced manufacturing through the annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest. The contest, coordinated by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, offers middle school students the opportunity to win $1,000 for videos they create that provide a look into the process of a local manufacturer that they have been paired with. This year’s competition was sponsored by BAE Systems and Hitchiner Manufacturing.

What’s so cool?

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? is an annual contest that exposes middle school students to advanced manufacturers in New Hampshire. The contest is a great example of the goal of New Hampshire’s Sector Partnerships Initiative (SPI) – to grow the skills and education of New Hampshire’s current and future workforce.

SPI Advisor Mary Lou O’Neil

SPI Manufacturing Advisor Mary Lou O’Neil

SPI sector advisor Mary Lou O’Neil had the pleasure of serving as a judge for this year’s competition, which attracted four of New Hampshire’s middle schools. After being assigned a partner manufacturer, teams of students were brought to their partner’s site where they toured the facility, learned about the manufacturing process, and interviewed the staff. The experience also allowed students the opportunity to refine their video production and presentation skills.

“This contest is a fun and effective way to expose middle school students to manufacturing at an early age,” said O’Neil. “Manufacturing is not often on the radar of many parents and students. By participating in the contest, students are exposed to many of the benefits of the field so they can consider it as a career option should it peak their interest.”

The results

The four New Hampshire middle schools were paired with local manufacturers: Kingswood Regional Middle School in Wolfeboro was partnered with Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, Winnisquam Regional Middle School in Tilton was partnered with Freudenberg NOK, South Meadow Middle School in Peterborough was partnered with Vicuna Chocolate, and Londonderry Middle School paired with BirdsEye View Aerobotics.

Governor Chris Sununu announced the winner on Thursday, March 22 via online video. The Londonderry Middle School team won the contest and the $1,000 prize for the second year running.

The second-place honor went to South Meadow Middle School in Peterborough.

Both Governor Sununu and the Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, Taylor Caswell, spoke of the role advanced manufacturing plays as a driver of New Hampshire’s economy, and cited the video contest as playing a key role in exposing students to the opportunities the sector provides in New Hampshire.

“This video contest is a manifestation of a part of what the New Hampshire Sector Partnerships Initiative seeks to accomplish,” said O’Neil. “Through efforts like the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest, we can work on addressing concerns about tomorrow’s workforce pipeline while educating students in an engaging and sustainable way.”

For more info on the contest, visit:

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