Saegertown enters ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest: Voting begins Monday

By Will Phelan, social media editor

Students met with Greenleaf employees to learn about manufacturing.

What’s so cool about manufacturing?  With the help of teacher-coach Mr. George Nahay, several junior high students decided to find out.

Eighth graders Lynna Brenizer, Brennen McWright, Quincy Zook, Michael DeJohn, Logan Fritze, and Joseph Perry teamed up to study the intricacies of manufacturing at Greenleaf Corporation as part of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest sponsored by the Northwest Industrial Resource Center. The contest is meant to raise awareness in schools and communities about interesting manufacturing careers.  

“Mrs. Koper brought the idea for this project to my attention at the beginning of the school year,” Mr. Nahay said.  “I liked the idea of getting eighth-grade students into a shop like Greenleaf to learn about manufacturing, so I decided to get involved.”

One of many Erie and Crawford County schools included in the Northwest contest, the Saegertown team was tasked with examining the operations at Greenleaf and filming them to show what the company is all about.

“Our goal with this project was to create an interesting video that represents Greenleaf and manufacturing well, so that students can see what a career in manufacturing could look like,” Mr. Nahay said.  

The students designed, filmed, and edited the video with some assistance from Mr. Nahay. Michael DeJohn is particularly proud of the video editing that includes fast forward sequences, voiceovers, and music.

Although this is the second year for the contest in our area, this is Saegertown’s first year as a participating school. For DeJohn, the lessons went beyond the shop floor; “I learned that work ethic can benefit you later in life, especially at your job.”  

He also emphasized the significance of meeting the Greenleaf employees; “The people were the most interesting. They could tell you everything. They could tell us what the machines were, and how they worked. They knew their stuff.”

However fun the project was, it was not easy work. “I found out that teaching and having students create a film outside of class can be very time consuming, but I feel that the finished product is great,” Mr. Nahay said.  

The SHS team is up against 17 other schools for awards in several categories including the Viewer’s Choice Award. Last year, nearly 40,000 votes were cast online, and 400 attended the awards gala. This year’s Gala will be March 21.

Voting for the Viewers Choice Award will take place March 11-13. You can view the video and vote  on the WSCM website. (With additional reporting by Sam Hetrick and Grant Anthony)