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Norwood Middle School wins Anderson Co. competition teaching students about manufacturing jobs

The competition tasks students with creating brochures highlighting jobs in local manufacturing businesses.

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Students weren't just learning about science, math and English during their lessons in Anderson County. They were also learning about local job opportunities in manufacturing businesses.

The "Dream it. Do it." competition tasks students in four middle schools with creating a brochure about manufacturing businesses in the surrounding area. People voted on the best brochure and the winner could return to class with a $1,000 check for classroom resources.

This year, Norwood Middle School won first place with 5,445 votes for their brochure. The check was presented to Robert Stephen, a teacher at the school. Norris Middle School took second place and Clinton Middle School earned third place.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the results of our program,” said Rick Meredith, the Anderson Co. Chamber president.  “Our goal was to get kids excited about manufacturing and expose them to the idea that there are lots of job opportunities and even a career in manufacturing.”

Students usually tasked with producing a video about the manufacturing company. They normally walk through the business, taking video with GoPro cameras and their cell phones. The videos are supposed to answer a simple question — "what is so cool about modern manufacturing?"

However, the pandemic caused students to stay out of the companies. Instead of making videos about the companies, students made brochures. 

Norwood Middle School partnered with Clayton Homes Appalachia Division. The company manufactures houses, college dormitories, military camps and apartments, according to the students' brochure. It also discusses the company's working environment, the careers available in the company and their target customers.