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Mount Vernon students, Dakota Pump partner for manufacturing contest

MOUNT VERNON -- A group of Mount Vernon eighth-graders didn't win a statewide contest, but their teacher said they learned -- and that's the most important part.

School supply photo illustration. (Matt Gade/Republic)
School supply photo illustration. (Matt Gade/Republic)

MOUNT VERNON - A group of Mount Vernon eighth-graders didn't win a statewide contest, but their teacher said they learned - and that's the most important part.

Fourteen students in Jeff Sand's technology class in October embarked on a semester-long project that worked closely with Mitchell-based Dakota Pump Inc. to create a video showing and explaining what the company does. The eighth-grade students did the project as part of the "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" contest, sponsored by South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions.

Final entries were submitted in January and an award ceremony was held Monday in Sioux Falls. The group was invited on stage to receive participation certificates, Sand said.

"This unique contest provided students with a real-world learning experience, while exploring the manufacturing industry, Dakota Pump and the time-consuming process of video production," Sand said Tuesday. "I am very proud of my students for the time, effort, creativity, and attention to detail they have put into their videos throughout this process."

Mount Vernon joined eight other schools in the contest, most of which are in the Sioux Falls area, including Tea, Edison and Harrisburg.

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According to contest rules, work must be done in groups of no more than five, so Sand broke his 14-person class into several small groups, and each produced a video and the class voted on which to submit for the contest. The group of students whose video was submitted included Gavin Franks, Lily Mikkonen, Dylan Reimnitz and Naomi Troutman. Work was done mostly during class time, but students also did some work on their own time, Sand said.

S.D. Manufacturing and Technology Solutions provided each school with a GoPro camera to film and lined up individuals from South Dakota Public Broadcasting to critique and help edit the video prior to final submissions. The students used software already available on school-issued laptops and computers to edit and produce the videos.

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